MCPS superintendent Taylora Schlosser and Kentucky Center for School Safety executive director Jon Akers speak to students at MCMS.
Marion County Public Schools Superintendent Taylora Schlosser visited Marion County Middle School again Wednesday morning to speak to the student body about online behavior and school safety. Schlosser reiterated her message to students concerning appropriate social media use and emphasized the phrase “Our school, our community.”
“Social media used inappropriately could cost you your job someday,” Schlosser said. “And if you see something going on that you know is wrong, you need to tell someone. We need you to be the leaders that continue to make this a great school district.”
On Tuesday, Schlosser addressed the school and also met with approximately 30 MCMS students afterward who wanted to be a part of a student focus group. The students spoke to Schlosser about issues at MCMS and made suggestions to help improve school culture.
Among those student suggestions was an anti-bullying campaign that could include peer mediation sessions. The students also discussed increasing the amount of lessons focused on social media use.
Also in attendance on Wednesday was Jon Akers, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety, who had been invited to attend by Schlosser. Following the school-wide assembly, Akers and Schlosser met briefly with some of the students interested in being a part of the focus group.
“You’re [district] is doing the right thing by being proactive,” Akers said. “Mrs. Schlosser had all the bases covered immediately, and addressed these issues with the policies that are in place.”
Akers went on to explain the importance of community members understanding the role they play in improving school safety.
“The schools only have these children for 15 percent of the time [...] These problems are generated at home and in the neighborhoods,” Akers said. “We need parents to monitor our kids’ activities.”
Akers suggested parents know their children’s online passwords, monitor their online activity, and make a habit of charging their cell phones at night in the parents’ bedroom.
“Social media use can have positive results or devastating results,” Akers said. “We’re seeing more devastation across the state with social media.”
However, Akers noted that he’s observed a strong school safety culture in Marion County.
“You have a very safe school district and there’s community buy-in,” he said.
The way recent safety concerns have been handled has been “textbook” Akers added.
On Tuesday, members of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department were on hand at MCMS and staff members performed security checks as students entered the building.
Kentucky State Trooper Robert Purdy is scheduled to speak to Marion County Middle School students about the positive and appropriate use of social media on January 10, 2018.