Paul Zinni, Superintendent
1 Patrick Clark Drive
Avon, MA 02322
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 30, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Avon Middle-High School Hosts Successful Event on Child Social Media Usage
BSU Professor Elizabeth Englander Addresses Parent/Guardian Concerns at Event Earlier this Month
AVON — Superintendent Paul Zinni is pleased to announce that the Avon Middle-High School hosted a successful forum on adolescent social media use, which featured an informational presentation by a renowned Bridgewater State University psychology professor who is an expert on the subject of cyberbullying and the potential pitfalls of digital communication.
Professor Elizabeth Englander hosted “Social Media Info Night” for parents and guardians of students on April 10. The event was part of the school district’s ongoing series on student safety and awareness for families this year.
Englander spoke to parents of students in grades 4-12 about keeping an open, ongoing dialogue with their children about social media use. She spoke about electronic devices, smartphones, general internet safety, guidelines for limiting use and ground rules like keeping phones in the parent’s bedroom at night in order to keep children safe and healthy.
Some tips Englander recommends to parents included:
- Constantly speak to children about what they are using and who they are talking to
- Intervene early if child behavior is alarming
- Have a plan for conversation when children inevitably see something inappropriate online
- Keep phones away from children during bedtime and throughout the night so they can get adequate sleep
“I have a 9 year-old at home and even though a personal cell phone is not an issue right now, the information from Dr. Englander was incredibly helpful” stated Amanda Decker, the Coordinator for the Avon Coalition for Every Student (ACES). Decker helped to organize the event.
Highlights from the event were re-broadcast on local access Channel 9 from April 16-23. Avon Public Schools also taped the entire event for the parents and guardians who were not able to attend. Those who want to access the tape can go to the Avon Public Library, 280 W Main St., to view it.
Englander earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California. She has been teaching at BSU since 1993 and focuses primarily on “childhood causes of abusive and violent behavior, and her research examines bullying and cyberbullying behaviors during the school years,” according to her faculty profile on the BSU website. In 2004 she received a grant from BSU that was integral in the creation of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter on these topics and regularly appears in the media as a subject matter expert.