Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The PAL Program- Peer Assistance and Leadership


It is no secret that technology has changed the way we communicate. From sending email to chatting with friends, new technology is created daily that changes our lives. 
As young women, the pressure to fit in is evident and internet gossip has become a norm during the high school years. The Rosary PAL (Peer Assistance and Leadership) program trains students to notice warning signs in fellow students of cyber bullying. 
Websites like ask.fm perpetuate this problem. This site allows the user to ask and answer questions but anonymously. To date, there have been a total of nine teen suicides linked to the use of this site to date. The creators of the site are not taking full blame as they are placing it back on its users, which can include students close to home. 
It may be challenging to monitor all of your daughter's internet and phone activity, but it is important to have a conversation about this with her. 
Below are two articles that talk about this social networking site as well as the issue that it raises. Please take the time to read these articles with your daughter.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-08-21/ask-dot-fms-teen-suicide-case-and-the-anonymity-problem

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/9175205/Ask-fm-now-linked-to-nine-teen-suicides

If you want to talk to your teenagers about this website or cyber bullying, ask if they’ve seen anything that is troubling to them. Showing them that we know about these types of things are often enough to discourage inappropriate usage. 
If you need our assistance, please feel free to contact me or direct your girls to the anonymous hotline, 714-386-9747, where they can leave a message. You can always reach me by email jlee@rosaryhs.org or by phone 714-879-7350 x110 if you have any questions or concerns. We appreciate all that you do to continue supporting them in their journey.

Standing Together,
Mrs. Julie Lee
Personal Counselor 

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