Shenendehowa HS principal: Increase in poor student behavior

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In this Monday, July 22, 2019, photo, Rachel Whalen looks at her phone at her home in Draper, Utah. Whalen remembers feeling gutted in high school when a former friend would mock her online postings, threaten to unfollow or unfriend her on social media and post inside jokes about her to others online. The cyberbullying was so distressing that Whalen even contemplated suicide. There’s a rise in cyberbullying nationwide, with three times as many girls reporting being harassed online or by text message than boys, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Shenendehowa High School Principal, Ron Agostinoni sent a letter to parents Sunday night about recent issues at schools both locally and nationwide. He said the past two years have been hard for many students.

“In the Capital Region and at Shenendehowa, we have witnessed increased anxiety in school and a recent uptick in negative student behaviors,” Agostinoni said. “Over the past two years, the disruption to the educational process has been difficult for students. Many have struggled to maintain connections to school through what was, for many, an extended time of isolation.

Friday some Capital Region schools canceled classes and some issued statements regarding a viral social media threat. A video on Tik Tok warned of possible violence at schools across the U.S.

Averill Park School District closed on Friday out of what they said was an abundance of caution after unsubstantiated threats were made towards the district. As of Friday afternoon, the district said it was working with the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police on an investigation of the threat.

“Threats of all kinds, including those made anonymously, are taken very seriously,” the district said. “If it is a student that is determined to have made the threat, they will face serious consequences through our school’s Code of Conduct, as well as potential criminal charges.”

He didn’t say the school received any direct threats, but Agostinoni did say negative behaviors that can be tracked to negative social media communications and social interactions among students outside of school have been witnessed at Shenendehowa High School.

“While our disruptive behaviors have generally been slightly lower than we have seen in previous years, we are starting to see an increase as of late,” he said. “Class cutting, vaping, verbal and physical altercations, and other negative behaviors have been prevalent over the past few weeks.”

Agostinoni asked parents to speak with their Shenendehowa students about appropriate online behavior. He also asked that parents reinforce respectful communication and focus on maintaining high academic and behavioral standards.

Check out Agostinoni’s letter to parents below:

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