The Redmond School District is taking a proactive approach regarding students and social media.
“It raises awareness so that our families can have these discussions at home, so that kids can put the screens down, spend more time socializing with each other and just make a difference communicating in a different way, not just through their screens,” said Redmond High School Principal Audrey Haugan.
Monday night, the district showed a documentary hoping to get parents’ attention.
“What it’s like for teenagers to be growing up in the digital age,” Haugan said. “It’s supposed to raise awareness for parents and families about the amount of time that kids spend on social media and on their screens and then also what it’s doing to them, both socially, emotionally and physically even.”
In late September, the Redmond School board moved to pursue a complaint against social media companies as part of a class action lawsuit arguing that social media has significantly disrupted schools.
“The more that we know about it, the more the kids know,” said Michael Summers, board chair for the Redmond School District. “Hopefully, we can get an understanding. And so there is not as much fight from parents and teachers. So we want, you know, social media has some positive side to it. Also has a lot of downsides. And we want them to know about them and also be able to function and have a healthy relationship with them.”
Despite the lawsuit and the first-ever push toward more social media awareness in students, Haugan says they’ve already seen a lot of improvement.
“Screen usage is way down here at Redmond High School and we’ve noticed a difference just in how our kids are behaving and acting toward each other,” said Haugan. “So I think it’s it’s neat to raise this awareness and get our kids off their phones.