Cluster schools to tackle cyber safety

Principals from the Stawell and Cluster schools identified cyber safety and social media use as an emerging local issue during a forum last year.

The Principals network, together with support from the School Focused Youth Service, decided a strategic 'whole of community' approach was needed to provide a consistent and long term strategy to deal with the issue.

The online environment can open up wonderful opportunities for young people to connect, but also lead to a variety of challenges and potential risks.

With the support of the local schools a working party made up of student representatives from the local schools began work on tackling the issues to assist local young people to be safe, positive, respectful and responsible on line.

Students identified that information had to be targeted to other students and peers, families and carers, teachers and the broader community stakeholders.

Other groups have also become involved in the continued work including Victoria Police, Northern Grampians Shire, the Community Action Network and Grampians Community Health.

To date the young people involved have started to develop local resources for use with the support of Project Rockit and the School Focused Youth Service.

More than 120 teachers from throughout Stawell and district received professional development at the end of 2013 to prepare them for the work ahead with the Esmart framework and local stakeholders will come together in April to provide valuable local information.

Further student led workshops will happen later this year and a whole of community forum is planned for the next few months to bring together young people, families, schools and other key community stakeholders to help provide a targeted and strategic approach to this ever emerging issue.

Anyone requiring further information can contact Maurice Billi at Grampians Community Health on 53587400.

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