Today the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. class participated in a workshop hosted by Luke Wilson with Family Network on Disabilities. Since the pandemic, teens have spent an extraordinaire amount of time on their phones, computers, and tablets, either doing virtual school or socializing with their friends Facilitators, Kathy Gorman-Gard, and Donna Mansolillo chose Cyber Safety and Cyber Bullying as the topics to be addressed with the students due to teens being quarantined and not having face to face schooling or gatherings with friends. 

Luke discussed with the students what cyber safety was and how important it is to make sure to keep yourself safe online.  He also gave the students tips on what to do if they experience cyber bullying. Specific topics such as: Identity Theft, Email Safety, Social Media, and Appropriate Screen Names were also discussed.  

The students all participated in the discussions and asked great questions. Ethan asked, “What do you do when someone is cyber bullying you and tries to twist the situation around to make it look like you were the bully?” Luke reminded him that you should take a screen shot of what the person said and share with a trusted adult.  

Samuit asked,” What is the most likely reason that an adult would want to get your personal information?”  This question prompted a discussion about predators and why they prey on kids and teens online. Luke stressed to the students the importance of NOT sharing any personal information with strangers. 

Lastly, Luke showed the students a short video, “5 Ways to Make a Positive Footprint”. This video recapped what the students had learned and discussed about Cyber Safety and Cyber Bullying. Students used their resources, development, growth, and empowerment skills to learn about the necessary precautions they need to keep themselves safe while online.  

HDS Foundation, would like to thank Luke Wilson with Family Network on Disabilities for presenting to the B.R.I.D.G.E.Sstudents! We look forward to Luke sharing many more important topics to with the students.