“Always Connected,” a social media safety presentation by Sergeant Tom Rich, will be presented for Parents and Guardians of K-12 students on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00 PM at the Montville Township High School auditorium. Rich has also been a featured expert on the subject of online safety and cyber-bullying for Good Morning America, CNN and Fox television. He is also a full-time member of the Summit, NJ, Police Department. All Parents and Guardians, throughout Montville Township, are encouraged to attend this free and important cyber security event.
Sergeant Tom Rich, will present “Always Connected” to Parents and Guardians on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00 PM at the Montville Township High School auditorium. This social media safety event contains important information regarding the value of social media as well as the dangers.
“This is a really important presentation, said senior Jessica Burns, following the 8:15 a.m. “Always Connected” presentation at MTHS. “It’s very informative, and so important. People need to know that what they do on-line follows them forever.”
“It is really important,” added senior Madison Mastriani, “especially when it comes to things like SnapChat. People don’t think that things stay on the internet. But they do, and a mistake on the internet, it could cost you your job, or ruin your life.”
Montville Township High School seniors Teresa Petrazzuolo, Jessica Burns, and Madison Mastriani said that they feel that “Always Connected,” a social media safety assembly by Sergeant Tom Rich, is a “really important” and “very informative” presentation.
During the 1-hour, interactive presentation, Sergeant Rich talked with MTHS students about many on-line social media platforms, including: texting, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Houseparty, Yolo, TikTok, YouTube, Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, on-line chatting, and SnapChat. He discussed the use of tablets and iPhones, and how every on-line encounter is like writing a “digital book.”
Additionally he reminded students that college admissions offices and employers look at the digital footprint of individuals.
“Everything you do on-line is traceable,” he said.
“I’m not telling you these things to scare you,” the sergeant explained to the MTHS students. “But we have to have a real conversation about on-line activity. And, my challenge for you is: are you willing to make a difference?”
“Keyboard Courage” is a phrase that Sergeant Rich coined during an interview on “Good Morning America.”
“If you would not say it around the kitchen table, you should not say it on-line,” he explained after he showed a video of a student bullying another student by saying hurtful things out loud as a group of students did homework at the bullied student’s kitchen table. No one at the table took up for the bullied student, so the bullying continued.
He also explained that following each insult typed in a text with “lol” does not make what was said a joke.
Leslee Scheckman, Supervisor of School Counseling for the Montville Township Public Schools, invited Sergeant Tom Rich to present his social media safety presentation “Always Connected” to 4th through 12th grade students. Principal Douglas Sanford welcomed him to Montville Township High School as the sergeant presented to the students of MTHS. Sergeant Rich will also present to Parents and Guardians on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the MTHS Auditorium at 100 Horseneck Road. This free event is for all adults with students in Kindergarten through grade 12.
“This presentation was very beneficial,” said Teresa Petrazzuolo. ”I think it was a good reminder that you can make a bad decision that can follow you.”
Petrazzuolo, Mastriani and Burns all mentioned that they “really feel sorry” for those younger than them. Each indicated that navigating social media is “bad” for them and their peers, but “it’s much worse now,” for kids younger than them “than it was for us at that age.”
In challenging the high school students to make a difference, this is exactly what Sergeant Rich was referring to. He noted that his own sons have taught him a great deal about the influences that older children have on younger children. He played specific videos that illustrated how quickly, and how young, younger children learn to judge themselves, or develop a fear of judgement, based on the nature of many social media interactions.
Then Sergeant Rich cautioned the students, and instructed them that they are not to allow the device or anything posted or said on the device to influence their self-esteem.
Sergeant Tom Rich presented “Always Connected,” a social media safety presentation, to the students at Montville Township High School on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. He has presented to all 4th through 12th grade students in the district. He will also present to Parents and Guardians on 1/24/23 at 7PM at MTHS.
“It’s OK not to be OK,” he said to the juniors and seniors. “Not one post is worth your life. If you are not OK, tell someone. ” Know that you will not be judged. You need to tell someone if you are not OK.”
He then asked the members of the audience to always set an example. “Ask yourself, ‘How can I have a positive impact?’”
Sergeant Rich has presented “Always Connected” throughout the Montville Township Public Schools district. On January 20, 2023, this high-energy assembly was presented to the 4th and 5th grade students of Valley View, William Mason and Woodmont Elementary Schools. Sergeant Rich met with Robert R. Lazar Middle School’s 6th, 7th and 8th grade students on January 23. His presentations to the freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors at Montville Township High School were held during the morning of January 24, and he will meet with 4th and 5th grade students at Cedar Hill and Hilldale Elementary Schools on January 30.
Parents, Guardians, and all adults are encouraged to attend “Always Connected,” the social media safety presentation by Sergeant Tom Rich, on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00 PM at the Montville Township High School auditorium, 100 Horseneck Road. The program is designed for Parents & Guardians of all school aged children, in all Kindergarten through Grade 12 classes.
During “Always Connected” Sergeant Rich exposes and reviews the dangers that lurk behind the screen, and he addresses the unique problems that children face in using technology. The Sergeant will also illustrate creative solutions to show how the many forms of communication available today can be used positively.
Sergeant Rich has been a keynote speaker at over 700 events nationally, reaching over 1,000,000 students worldwide. He has also been a featured expert on the subject of online safety and cyber-bullying for Good Morning America, CNN and Fox television. Sergeant Rich is also a 23 year veteran police officer and is still an active full-time member of the Summit Police Department in New Jersey. He has worked as a Patrol Officer, Detective, Detective Sergeant, Juvenile Detective, D.A.R.E. Officer, Juvenile Sergeant, and is currently a Patrol Sergeant. Every day, Sergeant Rich dedicates his career to protecting and empowering children through education and inclusion.
“Character education and supportive school climates are the keys to changing our youth’s experiences,” Sergeant Rich states on his website, www.alwaysconnected.org.
All Parents and Guardians, throughout Montville Township, are encouraged to attend this free and important cyber security event.
For more INFO contact the Montville Township Public Schools Counseling Office: 973-331-7100 ext. #2646 or #2647.
Montville Township High School is located at 100 Horseneck Road in Montville Township, NJ.
NOTE: this program will NOT be recorded. Please attend.