• Press Releases

    Four North Jersey Schools Select SafeStudents Online for Social Media Protection

    New Program Promotes Communication and Trust Between Parents and Children

    SafeStudents Online today announced that four Bergen County and Passaic County parochial schools have partnered with SafeStudents Online to help parents keep their children safe from threats commonly found on social media, such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and online predators. The partner schools are Immaculate Heart Academy, a girls’ Catholic high school in the Township of Washington; DePaul Catholic, a co-ed Catholic high school and 8th grade in Wayne; Don Bosco Prep, a boys’ Catholic high school in Ramsey; and Visitation Academy, a Catholic co-ed K-8 school in Paramus.

    SafeStudents Online administers social media protection programs for middle and high schools. (Visitation Academy will provide the program to the parents of students in grades 5 through 8.) The SafeStudents Online platform gives parents the ability to monitor their children’s social media activity for unsuitable or potentially dangerous posts and sends alerts that allow parents to take action when necessary. The technology is designed to encourage collaboration and communication between parents and children. Parents never need to ask for their children’s passwords, and the online activity is monitored privately by parents. School administrators have no access to the content.

    “There is a fine line between respecting children’s online privacy and independence and protecting them from online dangers they may not yet recognize,” said Patricia Molloy, president of Immaculate Heart Academy, which was the first area school to sign on with SafeStudents Online. “SafeStudents Online allows parents to initiate conversations with their children about appropriate social media use, while cultivating a trusting relationship and addressing any online issues before they become problems.”

    Independent research shows that one in six middle and high school students who use social media have been contacted by a stranger in a way that made them uncomfortable; one in four have had an online problem spill over into face-to-face confrontation; one in three have received unwanted sexual attention online; and nine out of 10 have witnessed mean or cruel behavior online. Figures like those are a huge concern for parents and schools and the inspiration for the SafeStudents Online solution.

    “Parents want to be responsible, but many have no idea how to keep up with their kids online,” said Tim Polizzi, vice president of SafeStudents Online. “SafeStudents Online partners with schools to give parents a tool to passively monitor their children’s public and private social media activity without having to spy on their children. The SafeStudents Online platform makes the parents the first line of defense, without ever needing to ask for or remember their children for passwords. Parents are notified right away if something inappropriate is being posted.”

    Joseph Tweed, president of DePaul Catholic High School, cited the importance of protecting students and helping them make good decisions online as well as in the real world. “SafeStudents Online is a perfect extension of our student safety program,” Tweed said. “We wanted to help our parents open the conversation about the social footprint their child was leaving, and this platform allows that to happen. Students need to know what their online profile looks like so they can protect their reputations among colleges, employers, and in their personal relationships.”

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