Wantagh Middle School partnered with local law enforcement agencies to address a growing epidemic within the adolescent population - the misuse of technology.

Nassau County Police Officer John Dockswell facilitated two assemblies and spoke with seventh and eighth-grade students on the perils of cyberbullying and sexting, and to sixth-grade students exclusively on cyberbullying. Officer Dockswell provided students with a powerful presentation on the dangers and consequences that their participation in either activity can and will cause.

Pulling from pop culture and real-life references, Officer Dockswell exposed students to the realities of Internet bullying and how this form of torment negatively affects both the victim and bully. He encouraged students to take a stand against these aggressive attacks and work to create an accepting atmosphere in their school and community.

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Officer Dockswell also addressed the irreversible damage of sexting. He described how lives are forever altered through the sending and distribution of inappropriate material and how it has resulted in students being charged with crimes, school expulsion and damaged reputations.

The Wantagh School District’s Technology Department utilizes filters on instructional computers to block access to social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and keep the focus on academics to help prevent students from using them for cyberbullying. Additionally, websites identified as “inappropriate” are also blocked.