Because teens are spending an increasing amount of time online, schools are seeing to it that social media education expands for students and parents.

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Lawrence school district officials hope that the increased effort will help prevent issues such as cyberbullying, sharing private information, and other inappropriate actions from increasing. Teens have the ability now to broadcast their message to the entire school with the touch of a smartphone.

“The fact is that, especially with social media, parents need to attempt to stay one step ahead of their students, and that’s a difficult task to do,” said Denise Johnson, the district’s curriculum coordinator for health and wellness.

Parents have to have an understanding of social media, Johnson said. The school strategy includes presentations for middle and high school students in assemblies as well as covering social media safety in the curriculum for health and sex education. Presentations for parents and students will be given at all four district middle schools this year.

In addition to cyberbullying, the district is educating parents and students about the dangers of sexting. Messages sent with some apps such as Snapchat allow the user to save a record of photos.

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