Dr. Joshua Starr

Dr. Starr: ‘We Need to Talk about Cybercivility’

Dr. Joshua StarrSuperintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr published an open letter to parents on Dec. 13 about the need for a community-wide dialogue on how we teach our children to be safe and civil online. He wrote the letter in response to several inappropriate comments that were made to him on Twitter this week as he was deliberating whether to close schools due to the weather.

“I’m writing this letter to start a conversation about how we can support our children in using technology in a way that is healthy, productive, and positive,” Dr. Starr wrote. “Cyberbullying is a real issue among children and adults. We not only have to teach our kids how to handle new technologies appropriately, but we also have to model that behavior in our own communications on social media and email.

“We need to talk about “cybercivility:” how we can help our children grow into responsible and caring adults who interact with one another in a civil, respectful way.”

The letter can be viewed on the MCPS website, along with links to helpful resources for parents and community members. Dr. Starr has also asked staff to create a task force that will develop strategies to raise awareness of the need for cybercivility, and provide resources and tools that parents and schools can use to promote civility and cybersafety among students and adults.

See letter from Dr. Starr to parents, below:

Visit the MCPS Cybercivility website for more information.

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