SPEARMAN, Texas (KFDA) - Parents of Spearman ISD students had the chance to learn the do’s and don’ts of social media safety this evening.
However, it wasn’t just any ordinary lecture.
Spearman ISD says they’ve been in need of some extra help when it comes to students and social media.
“I’ve been a school counselor for many years and at the junior high here for 15 years,” said Tami Hargrove, district coordinator of health and safety for Spearman ISD . “And just in the last two or three years, we’ve seen some drastic changes in our students from depression and anxiety to even suicidal thoughts and the common denominator among all that seemed to be social media and what they were seeing and reading on social media.”
Professional speaker Robert Hackenson has traveled internationally to speak on the topic and met with parents in Spearman Monday night.
“Just kind of get some basic rules that they can follow and resources that they can use to really make sure that they help their child use technology responsibly," said Hackenson. “Because, although technology can be a great thing, there can also be some dangers to it too. Youth between the ages of eight to 18 spent about seven half hours per day of recreational screen time. So It’s like for fun, that’s not school, it’s not homework. That’s a lot of time. And there are certain repercussions that come from that.”
But not only is he a professional speaker, but he’s also a magician and hypnotist and uses both to get the message across.
“That’s really been my mission is using educational lectures, but infusing it with magic illusions, comedy skits, to make it really entertaining to get people to stay engaged,” said Hackenson. “And to make the message a lot more memorable.”
Hackenson will speak to all grade levels at Spearman ISD about a variety of online safety topics on Tuesday.
“Maybe some good ways to set boundaries or to give some guidance in the area of social media to help their kids navigate these very difficult topics and issues that they face,” said Hargrove.
The district hopes that by having him speak to parents, they can help students at home.
“There’s so much out there, it can be so overwhelming,” said Hackenson. “So I kind of really break it down into here’s what you really need to know. Here’s what you really need to worry about and here’s what you can do to make sure that your kids don’t step on one of those ‘social media landmines’, if you will.”