essay: parenting in the age of school shootings

telegram_logoSomeone threatened to shoot up my son’s high school recently. Administrators alerted parents to the threat and assured us that there would be a strong police presence on the school campus.

When you are told that someone — likely an individual trying to get attention and spark a high-profile reaction — has threatened your child’s school, on a specific day, how are parents, in the age of Parkland and Newtown, supposed to react? What is a reasonable response? I wrote a piece about navigating this new terrain, “Parenting in the Age of School Shootings.”

An excerpt:

“… all I had were questions. Will there be an increased police presence at the high school because the shooting was threatened to occur tomorrow? Or will police be there just because there was a threat made? Is the high school graduation ceremony a few days from now at risk?

Facebook quickly became the virtual meeting spot for worried parents who wondered if it was safe to send kids to school the following day, for parents who said we shouldn’t live in fear, for parents who were hungry for more information, for parents who sought solace from one another because this is now the world in which we are raising our children.”

Read the whole piece at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette here.

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worcester forum on media literacy: be wary of what you read

img_5174I was honored to participate in the League of Women Voters of Worcester forum “Media Literacy and Fake News: Decoding Media in 2017” on Nov. 29.

The two-panel forum included remarks from journalists (from MassLive, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and Worcester Magazine) and academics (from Assumption College, Northeastern University — that would be me, and Andover High School) who urged news consumers to be smart about their media consumption and to read a wide variety of sources.

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MassLive.com’s coverage, “How can you tell if the news story you’re reading is ‘real,'” began this way:

“Identifying fake news is no straightforward task, but a panel of local journalists and academics says there are strategies readers can take to stay accurately informed.”

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Here’s how the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s story, “Communicators on Worcester panel urge critical eye on media in age of ‘fake news,'” started:

“Understanding the ideas and motivation behind the notion of “fake news” is important, but as several panelists pointed out Wednesday night at a League of Women Voters forum, the onus on ferreting out truth in a broadly diversified media landscape is increasingly being put on the consumer.

Image credits: Alban Murtishi of MassLive.

join me in worcester for a discussion about ‘media literacy and fake news’

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I am honored to join a panel of media and academic folks as we dive into the meaty subject of “Media Literacy and Fake News” on November 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Worcester.

I’ll be appearing at the League of Women Voters of the Worcester Area’s “Decoding Media in 2017” forum alongside:

Worcester State University’s Stacey Luster will moderate.

Image credit: League of Women Voters of the Worcester Area.