CYBER safety was one of many the topics covered by the Police School Liaison Officers at Bulahdelah Central School last week.
“Social media is always a big issue that impacts on everyone, especially when over half the world uses Facebook every day,” Senior Constable Stephen Jefferies said.
“We spoke to students about the safe use of social media, the importance of safeguarding profile pictures and online bullying.”
Through discussions, supported by interactive materials and real life examples, the officers highlighted the need to be cautious online.
“Teenagers have an average of 452 friends on Facebook, so if they send out an inappropriate photo, it becomes multiplied to several thousand in a very short amount of time,” Sn Constable Jefferies said.
“We spoke about mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, and all the other things that come with the misuse of social media.”
For the younger students, Sn Constable David Russell said the focus was on stranger danger.
“It’s good to talk to the young ones and let them know who the safe people are and where the safe places are,” he said.
“It is great to walk around the school and have many of them come up and talk to you, it helps build positive relationships and break down any barriers which may exist.”
Sn Constable Russell said they always encourage young people to wave when they see police in the community.
“They will certainly wave back,” he said.
The Liaison Officers visits are part of the school’s welfare program and allows the police and staff to work together to support the students.
“A good education will get young people a long way in the future,” Sn Constable Jefferies said.
“It’s great to have students ask questions about policing, so it isn’t just about imparting information, it is also about giving advice.”
The School Liaison program was established in 2007, and now has 42 officers working in NSW schools.
By Daniel SAHYOUN