Middle School Level Resources
Our focus for Middle School students is on the following subjects:
- Cyber safety
- Bully Prevention
- Online safety
- Online Gaming precautions
These resources are vital to help our children feel safe at school and in today’s online environment, and give our audience the tools to empower themselves with information and awareness needed to be safe on the internet and in society.
All of the resources available on this Middle School resource page are age level appropriate, and geared to engage the audience.
Cyber Bully & In Person Bully Prevention
TITLE 6, Chapter 12, Part 7 New Mexico Administrative Code
SAFE SCHOOLS FOR ALL STUDENTS
What is Bullying?
“Bullying” means any repeated and pervasive written, verbal or electronic expression, physical act or gesture, or a pattern thereof, that is intended to cause distress upon one or more students in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop, or at school activities or sanctioned events.
Bullying includes, but is not limited to, hazing, harassment, intimidation or menacing acts of a student which may, but need not be based on the student’s race, color, sex, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation.
Online Bullying Guide for Children
Online bullying – also known as cyberbullying – is bullying that takes place ON THE INTERNET (online) or via electronic devices and mobile phones. Online Bullying can include: Sending someone mean or threatening emails, direct messages or text messages; Hacking into someone’s online account; Being rude or mean to someone when playing online games; Posting private or embarrassing photos online or sending them to others; Creating fake social media accounts that mock someone or trick them; Excluding someone from an online conversation or blocking them for no reason.
In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as mental wellbeing, distress and sadness.
Social Media Safety for Teens
The following checklist can help you take steps to keep yourself safer online
Think Before You Send
Online Gaming Safety
What is gaming disorder?
Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. (Ref. World Health Organization)
In the ever evolving world of online gaming, here are a few tips to stay safe:
– Choose a safe username
Make sure your nickname does not include the following:
- Full name
- School’s or college’s name
- Date of birth
- Address or the town you live
- Mobile number
If you are able to use a profile picture, try using an avatar that does not show your face. If you do use a picture, think about whether it shows anything that could be used to identify you, like your school logo or your street name.
When you create your account, it is a good idea to make sure you use a strong password.
– Be careful what you share
Games are a great way to make friends online. However, it is important to think about how much you are sharing about yourself.
Be careful about sharing personal details, like your address, phone number, where you go to school or your full name. Even if you only share a few small things over time, someone might be able to use it to find out more about you.
– Think about who you’re playing with
Most online games are open to everyone, that means you could be playing with people much younger or older than you. You might also be much better or worse at the game than the people you are playing with.
Remember, if you are playing with people online:
- You can report and mute anyone who’s abusive, threatening or who tries to bully you
- People might not always be honest about who they are
- Be careful of scams, and don’t accept gifts or offers that seem too good to be true
- Be nice to the people you’re playing with, even if they’re not as good at the game.
There can be times when people use games to ask children and young people to share sexual pictures or nudes. People who do this might make you feel like you can trust them, ask you to keep things secret or give you compliments or gifts. This is called grooming.
When you share something online, even in a private message, you lose control of it. If you are talking to someone online and they have asked you to share sexual images or personal details, it can help to talk to a trusted adult.
– Check your privacy settings
Changing your privacy settings can affect who can see if you are online, whom you can play with and whether people can see what games you are playing.
Every game and console is different, so make sure you always check the settings to see what your options are.
– Take breaks
Many people like to play for as long as they can without stopping. However, taking short breaks when you are playing games can help you to stay healthier and stop you from getting bored.
Try taking a break if you are:
- Not enjoying the game as much as you were when you started
- Getting angry or upset at other people or the game
- Feeling tired or hungry
- Starting to ignore things you need to do, like homework.
– Watch out for loot boxes and in-app purchases
Many games are free-to-play, so you can download and start them without paying anything. Games like this make money by making you want to buy things, like new skins, loot boxes, items or lives.
If you are tempted to buy things in-game:
- Check whether something will cost real world money before you buy anything
- Ask the person who’ll be paying before you buy anything
- Keep track of what you’re spending, even if you’re buying cheaper things they can end up costing a lot
- Don’t buy items from websites outside of the game itself
- Take time away from the game before you decide whether you still want something
Loot boxes can seem like fun, especially if you get something valuable from them. However, they can also encourage you to keep buying them and make you feel like you have to play for longer.
– Mods and downloads aren’t always safe
Downloading cheats or mods from websites other than the official game website can be dangerous. Mods can contain viruses that will damage your computer or mobile, and give hackers access to your personal data.
Whenever you can, always use your mobile’s app store or download mods from official websites.