Dear John F. Kennedy Families,
We are writing to inform you about a TikTok video that has been created by a group of men who have declared April 24 as a “national day” for carrying out sexual assault and rape. Phrases such as “National R@pe Day” and “April 24th, 2021” may appear in postings and videos when using social media apps. This is very disheartening as our communities have experienced so much in response to the global pandemic and recent current events related to community violence.
Our school communities work hard to ensure our students feel safe and supported. We recognize that some students may be impacted by seeing this content online, while others may be more heavily impacted because they have had experience with sexual assault or abuse. Each student’s experience is unique, and we honor the way individuals choose to share their personal stories. In turn, we recommend that you talk with your child about their experiences, and access support when needed.
In a time when social media is constant and present in our children’s lives, it’s important to talk to them about the dangers of online activity. As a reminder, the terms of service for all social networks prohibit anyone under 13 years of age from using the services. This applies to Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all other social networks. We also encourage you to visit Commonsensemedia.org to learn more about parental settings and helping your child have safe online behavior.
It’s important for parents to know that users of social media platforms can report a concern when using an app. Below are useful links for reporting concerns on some of the popular social media sites:
- TikTok: https://support.tiktok.com/en/using-tiktok/report-a-problem
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/help/186570224871049
- Snapchat :https://snap.com/en-US/safety/safety-reporting#:~:text=To%20report%20a%20Snapchat%20account,%2C%20then%20click%20’Report‘.
- YouTube: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/4347644?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
Please also be aware that some DPS students will be participating in an upcoming Day of Silence virtual event scheduled for April 22, 2021. This event honors the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ people in schools.
Also, Colorado Denim Day is scheduled for April 28, 2021. This is a day of activism in which members of our community may be taking a stand against sexual violence by wearing denim. Some school communities may be supporting these events and/or other activities to raise awareness of sexual violence. When talking with your child, you may want to ask if they are participating in these events.
As a reminder, it is also important for parents to know the warning signs of depression and suicide. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have thoughts about suicide or other harmful behaviors. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk. Instead, it decreases the risk by providing an opportunity for help.
If your child has seen these postings and is struggling or is in need of assistance, please reach out to your school psychologist, school social worker, or school counselor. Our mental health team and their specific resources can be found here.
Other Helpful Resources
Colorado Crisis and Support Line at 844-493-8255, or Text TALK to 38255
National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255
Sexual Assault Hotline at 303-322-7273
Safe2Tell Colorado at 877-542-7233
Trevor Project Hotline for Suicide Prevention for LGBTQ Youth, 866-488-7386
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, https://www.ccasa.org/