Principal’s Perspective: Internet Morality
“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise.
We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”
~ CS Lewis
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting.
It has been found difficult; and left untried.”
I want you to consider each quote above and how applicable they are to the immoral chaos in our culture. Adults are shocked that youth act so disrespectfully, yet fail to reason that our culture has created this problem when it banished any moral dialogue from the public domain.
Social media continues to be a challenge for many students. Unfortunately, many youth act in a very irresponsible manner on social media. Given the potentially damaging nature of these events, I hope you will understand and accept the following suggestions:
- Every internet device must have “blocks” installed to prevent youth from gaining access to violent or sexual websites. Mental health professionals warn against giving smart phones to youth under the age of 16.
- Remind your child internet access is a privilege not a right. Parents should restrict access to the youth when that trust is violated.
- Be very clear with your child with your social media expectations in regards to sexual content, communicating with strangers, sending immoral pictures, being rude to others or divulging any personal information. The consequences of ignoring your wisdom will eventually be devastating to them.
- Let your young person know you will be periodically checking all their devices to ensure their proper use of the internet.
- Delete or investigate apps or content that is suspicious or poorly defined. There are vulgar apps that are disguised as safe. Become knowledgeable about deceptive apps that are designed to fool the parent.
- Systematically collect all internet devices at night to prevent youth from using them long after “lights out”.
- Guide your child to understand that it is never proper to use social media to harass or retaliate another person. Sharing negative or hurtful content about another person is immoral and at times illegal. Warn them their unethical actions on social media could harm them and their victim for years. Students can be expelled for harassing another student on social medial.
- The adolescent brain is still developing, especially their executive functions that guide them to understand cause & effect & future consequences.
- Purposefully, live and share the reality and love of Jesus with your children, since the Spirit of God is the only power that will equip us to resist temptation. St. Paul wrote, “Why do I pursue the bad things that I hate, and ignore the good things that I love? Who can help me? Only Jesus can set me free.” Romans 7
May the Lord keep your children safe from evil and touch their lives for eternity.