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More Parents Push for a Social Media Contract

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ELK GROVE—

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – billions use the sites every single day.

“Social media should be fun and interactive with your friends and your peers. But it also means that you are being responsible, because you are leaving a digital footprint,” said Bobbie Singh-Allen.

It’s a great way to connect with friends, but it also opens the door to potential online predators and bullies.

“I was bullied when I was in 6th grade, so that fact that people would even want to hurt someone like that, it isn’t right,” Amir Allen, Bobbie Singh-Allen’s son, said.

An Elk Grove School Board member and mother of two adolescent boys, Bobbie Singh-Allen took matters into her own hands to create a social media contract for her sons.

“Parents often don’t think about the long term consequences as a result of things that they can comment and post, and so I wanted to make sure that the children had enough education and awareness of what it means to be on social media,” Bobbie said.

The contract consists of 25 covenants and is signed and dated.

“He had to maintain a B average in school, but there are some critical things I thought were very important. Things like keeping his privacy settings as private, so that the public couldn’t see who he was. Making sure that he didn’t use his real name. Again, there’s a lot of creepy people out there,” Bobbie said.

Other rules include: not spreading rumors or gossip, “liking” inappropriate images or using derogatory language.

“That’s why I think the contract is good, because then the parents monitor what they do, that way bullies can’t really pull anything off. Because the parents don’t know if the bullies are bullying. They don’t know, they don’t check it,” Amir said.

Amir asks other students to tell their parents if they see anyone being bullied online.

“Because if you don’t, God knows what’s going to happen to that kid,” Amir said.

 

Erin Stafford filed this report.

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