Dr. López Letter about social media 6/4/20

June 4, 2020

Dear GISD Families:

Our number one priority is the well-being of our students. As you know, social media is a powerful tool that can be used for inspiration and learning. It has been highly useful in staying #GISDAlwaysConnected throughout the closure. I have enjoyed the messages of encouragement, as well as the pictures and videos that staff, students and families have shared with one another.

Because social media posts have both immediate and lasting impacts, we include lessons in the curriculum to teach students how to engage in social media safely and responsibly. We care deeply about our children, and we want their online reputation to be as stellar as their school transcripts and resumes. Our goal is for every child to have a bright future with nothing that could negatively impact future college admission and job employment, or create a criminal history.

The need for respectful public discourse is imperative, now more than ever. I see our students posting about their feelings and reactions to racial injustice with sadness, empathy and sensitivity. However, there are other students across the state and the nation who have chosen to share comments that are inflammatory or offensive. 

Those negative posts are alarming as they can be shared worldwide, potentially making the students who post them targets for retaliation. We want to be sure our children are safe. Informed social media use is one way to help protect them.

I encourage you to talk with your children about what they may be posting and to regularly review the messages they are sharing, both public and private. Please emphasize that what is posted exists forever and can be viewed and shared by others who may have negative reactions to aggressive language or images.

Please continue to encourage your children to express their emotions in constructive ways, lifting up others and elevating the dialogue about race in our country. For additional information on social media use, including how to talk to students, please see our digital citizenship guidelines for families webpage.

Sincerely,

Ricardo López, Ed.D.
Proud Garland ISD Superintendent