Parkway schools educate parents on social media engagement

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CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Parkway School District is remaining proactive when it comes to social media engagement and its students.

The district hosted a workshop at Parkway South High School on Thursday to educate parents on resources to learn how to monitor their kids’ activity.

Superintendent, Dr. Keith Marty said the workshop was already planned before several social media threats started to affect the schools but he still feels it’s important to get involved with parents and address the issue.

Within the past week, several area schools have had to notify parents of investigations surrounding social media posts.

The Lindbergh School District sent out a release to parents Thursday morning about social media concerns from Truman Middle School students.

Also, a juvenile is in custody charged with a felony after reports of a threat surrounding Whiteside Middle School in Shiloh.

Parkway schools have also had their share of social media issues.

“Since the start of the school year, we’ve had three social media posts that were threats to our school or our students,” Marty said.

As the presence of social media grows, Marty said they strive to be proactive in starting a crucial conversation.

“We just feel like it’s taking a lot of time and, more importantly, it’s threatening a lot of people and frightening a lot of people,” he said. “It’s happening with young people who are making some bad choices.”

Faculty and staff organized a workshop in the theatre filled with parents wanting to be in the know about what their children are tapping into.

“They’re on social media. They’re listening to different things and watching different things,” said Michelle Brady, a mother attending the workshop. “I don’t feel like I have control over what they’re doing.”

With the intent to ensure safe and productive learning environments, Parkway schools said they need parents to be logging in and staying involved.

“We want parents to be working with us. We don’t want children to get in trouble and we want to avoid families from having to deal with what is difficult to handle,” Marty said.

The superintendent has urged parents to let their children know there will be consequences along with social media misconduct. At Parkway schools, a student could be suspended from 30 days to a year.

“I think they need to be educated aware of what their children are doing, and they need to have honest discussions with their children,” Marty said.

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