An article by Ruby Payne, founder and CEO of aha! Process, was published in the Spring 2024 issue of TEPSA Leader, a quarterly publication from the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. Payne’s piece, titled “Social Media Issues—Working with Parents: Building Relationships for Student Success, 3rd Edition,” draws off her recently published book of the same name: Working with Parents: Building Relationships for Student Success, 3rd Edition. Payne will be teaching a master class on this topic at TEPSA’s upcoming summer conference, scheduled June 12 to June 14 in Round Rock, Texas.

The following is an excerpt of a portion of the article (click here to read the entire piece):

Social media can be a blessing and/or a curse, but it is a daily reality in schools. It consumes a great deal of administrator time.

What is the worst part about being bullied on the Internet and social media?

  1. You cannot be seen or heard for who you are.
  2. It is hard to fight back. (Who do you hit?)
  3. You have no control over the size of the audience. Many people make a decision about you without knowing anything about you.
  4. It results in personal or professional exclusion.
  5. There is a period of time where you cannot defend yourself. Only others can defend you.

Internet and social media bullying involves the following: Pick out a detail or aspect of a person or idea, distort and enlarge that particular detail, omit key information, and “smear” the professional or personal reputation of the individual. Often the supporters of the person being bullied will also be targeted. The result is that people stay clear of you simply because of the confusion, the amount of time it takes to figure out the actual truth, and the fear of being smeared themselves with the same brush.

Working with Parents is also offered as a workshop. Click here for more information.

Both the book and the workshop provide information regarding how to respond to parents’ emotional realities and built-in biases, how to understand and work better with parents from both poverty and wealth, and how to address social media problems and issues like bullying.