Acknowledging that social media use is closely tied to students’ mental health, East Hampton High School administrators will hold two parent forums next week — in Spanish on Wednesday and in English next Thursday — to equip parents with information and tools to help their children navigate the digital world.
Representatives of the town’s Police Department will help lead the presentations, titled “Social Media and Internet Safety: What Parents Need to Know.” Both begin at 6 p.m.
“It’s just an issue that we see kind of ever present and pervasive for parents who are trying to monitor and keep up with technology and social media, as it is changing so quickly,” said Sara Smith, the high school’s principal. “The whole reasoning behind the community forum is really to work with parents as partners. What can we share with you that may help you monitor your child’s social media and open the lines of communication with them about their social media use?”
Last year, the school held a forum on substance abuse and technology addiction; before that, topics of discussion included mental health awareness and the dangers of vaping.
Ms. Smith said that children are “often a few steps ahead” of their parents when it comes to technology. Topics to be addressed next week include “what happens when things go wrong” and “how kids hide things from parents in plain sight.”
“Social media has added many positives to our lives,” Adam Fine, the district superintendent, said in an email. “However, if this tool is not used correctly and we as educators and parents are not prepared to understand all the nuances that come along with this technology, many complex negatives will arise. I am pleased that the high school and [Police Department] have organized this event for our community.”