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Social Media and Cyberbullying

Social Media and Cyberbullying

UPDATED 11/8/17
First, I want to thank the Safford Police Department for their very thorough, professional, and efficient investigation during these very trying and difficult two and a half weeks. We had complete confidence in the Police Department and in those conducting this investigation. There have been things known and discovered that could not be shared until everything was finalized. We, as a school cannot and will not interfere with a police investigation. We also want people to know that we cannot and will not release names of students nor discipline administered to them.

Safford Unified School District would like to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks to the many kind and thoughtful people in this community for support, encouragement, kind words and actions, and FOOD! It means more to us than you will ever know… Thank you! 

I would personally like to thank the following people: . 
District Level Administration, Safford High School Administration, and School Resource Officer for their tireless efforts, sleepless nights, and love for our students. 
The entire staff at Safford High School for being the good people they are and for hanging together. 
Safford High School students who reported concerns and gave support.

This has been a very difficult time for many of us who have had our names and our schools blasted on Social Media, particularly Facebook, because we were not giving out information to which some people thought they should have access. It is not easy knowing this kind of stuff is being spread on a “Blast” page, but doing the right thing, even when it may not be popular is still and will always be the right thing. 

It is disappointing that some people, including adults, chose to release names of individuals, even going as far as threatening them in an attempt to smear the names of some children. Hateful, accusatory, inflammatory, and just plain mean things were posted or said by people with a blatant disregard of factual information. Many people chose to believe what was posted and then chose to add more fuel to the fire. The use and misuse of social media especially the “Blast” page in the Gila Valley caused panic and disruption in our District. This was wrong, uncalled for, and in some cases, malicious. 

Many people write and post things they would never dare say in person. It seems that some people think they are protected and anonymous as they post on social media. It is not so and it does not bring any good! We as a community cannot give in to social pressure and the ugly side of social media; If we do then we must ask ourselves what we are teaching our children. We are living during an interesting time. It seems that hostility and verbal assaults have become acceptable means of problem solving with some people in our communities. We cannot allow this type of behavior to take the place of polite conversation, respect, and kindness.

Sometimes we just need to trust in one another...for some reason, it seems that we as a School District may need to do more to earn the trust of the parents and community and we will continue to work to gain that trust. Our students are our number one priority. We want them to know that and we will continue to do all we can to ensure they know it. 

We want all students and parents in our school district to know that verified cases of threats or bullying will result in severe disciplinary consequences from the school and charges will be filed with law enforcement….we will not tolerate threats or bullying in any form! We will likewise take necessary action towards anyone bringing forth untrue or false accusations. The most severe consequences will be administered to protect our students.

We strongly remind and encourage all of us be vigilant, care for each other, and as we have been emphasizing: See Something - Say Something - Do Something! 
Please join us as we ALL (schools, students, staff, parents, and community) strive to become: TBSDIA ! 

Thank you once again to all those who showed confidence and support. 

Ken VanWinkle