Dear GCSD Families,
Yesterday Guilderland Central School District families were informed of the arrest of a Farnsworth Middle School custodial worker by the Guilderland Police Department. In the communication sent by the district, there was a point that requires clarification. It was stated that the employee worked the evening shift and was not in the building during regular school hours. To be clear, his shift started at 2:30 p.m., one hour prior to FMS dismissal.
During this difficult time, the district is ready to support all students and families. Any GCSD student who would like to talk to someone in a private, supportive setting, is encouraged to seek a counselor or social worker in their school building. Students can ask any staff member for help.
To the extent that social media played a role in this situation, we urge families to take an active role in your children’s activities online, and to remind students to be mindful of their digital footprint. The following resources may be helpful in these conversations.
- Common Sense Media is a nonprofit organization which provides overviews on social media apps, online games like Fortnight and Roblox, a guide to Google Classroom and more. We currently use their digital citizenship lessons throughout all grade levels.
- NetSmartz is a program created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and offers resources for teachers, parents and students to teach important lessons in digital citizenship and online safety.
- News Literacy Project is a nonpartisan, national education nonprofit that provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information. This includes information found online and on social media.
- Media Smarts is a not-for-profit organization for digital and media literacy, providing resources, including many videos and guides for parents.
Please do not hesitate to contact me or FMS Principal Michael Laster if you have any questions or concerns. This is a difficult time for the Guilderland Central School District but we are fully committed to supporting all of our students.
Marie Wiles, Ph.D.