Social media community forum is tonight

A community forum will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Joel Barlow High School to discuss the consequences of students abusing social media and technology in a way that can harm themselves or others.

A letter sent to parents of fifth through eighth grade students by Diane Martin, principal at John Read Middle School, and Susan Kaplan, principal at Helen Keller Middle School, said, “We as adults are naturally concerned about how we can help our children safely navigate the digital world.”

The forum, hosted by both middle school parent teacher associations, will feature a panel of local experts to discuss the growing concern.

Richard Colangelo, senior assistant state’s attorney, Dan Geraghty, dean of students and director of student activities at Barlow, Mark Pastor, Easton school resource officer, and Kurt Oestreicher, digital forensics investigator, make up the panel that will be moderated by Dale Barcham, school psychologist at Barlow.

“As adults, both educators and parents, we watch our students as they investigate the plethora of social media options available to them. We struggle with which aspects of social media add to their lives and have academic benefits and which ones are time wasters or even potentially risky,” said the letter from the two principals.

The panel will speak to the benefits and dangers and how adults can help to guide students in making good decisions.

The discussion will be in the Joel Barlow High School media center at 7 p.m., with refreshments being served at 6:45.

A question-and-answer session will follow the discussion.

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