Students at Sewanhaka High School tackled digital gossip and online social isolation when the school participated in Beyond Differences’ Be Kind Online Day on April 17.
A group of student leaders joined by student representatives from the Shared Decision-Making Committee led the effort to encourage their peers to take a stand against negative online behavior. During the school’s lunch periods, the students spoke to classmates and asked them to pledge to be authentically themselves online. Students then added their pledges to murals of the sun located in both of the school’s cafeterias.
Teacher Allison Filippone organized the event. She said students will have fewer issues with isolation if they are reminded of how important they are to the school and community.
“The more connected they are to their teachers and peers, the more they will feel connected to academics,” she said.
Before the event, students learned how to spot social isolation in online environments and how to respond to digital gossip, and were encouraged to think about whether their online behaviors match the positive characteristics of their real-life personality.
Ms. Filippone expressed her gratitude to the event’s sponsors, Baldwin Dental Arts; Marciano Filippone, CPA; and The Guiffre Law Offices, whose contributions provided both community support for the event as well as all the T-shirts, wristbands and paper used to create the event.