Ridge Teaches Responsible Technology Use


Molly Bomar, Co-Editor

High schools nationwide were plagued with the “Devious Licks” challenge on Tik Tok the past few months, prompting MRHS’s Principal David Vines to send out an email to all students and parents about school vandalism.


Paul Strauss, Ridge’s Dean of Students, has instituted a new ‘Digital Citizenship’ lesson to teach students how to be safe under the disguise of social media. Strauss says the lesson wasn’t directed towards the challenge but emphasizes the destructive measures media platforms present. 


“Sadly it is all too common to see stories on the news of people who have been victims of catfishing, cyberbullying, and vile interactions between strangers on such things as Twitter,” Strauss said. “We require people to learn how to drive before we allow them behind the wheel but unfortunately there are no such requirements for entering the digital superhighway.” 


The lesson is being taught to students from kindergarten through senior year, proving the Deer Valley Unified School District’s priority in keeping kids safe. 


“All 30,000+ students in the district – even our Kindergarteners – are learning how to be better digital citizens,” Strauss said.


At MRHS, each grade focused on specific issues when online, including communication with strangers, privacy, and cyberbullying. Strauss pointed out the integration of technology in students’ lives and the importance of safe online navigation in and out of the classroom. 


“Just because a student knows how to get on and navigate through a digital platform, it does not mean they know how to communicate with strangers, be able to trust what they are reading, how to emotionally deal with being bullied, or how to deal with feeling depressed,” Strauss said. “It is our responsibility as a Ridge family to help everybody figure out how to deal with all of these issues.”


Ridge’s biggest priority is keeping their students safe so they may excel academically, achieve personal success, and contribute positively to society. 


“We want to make sure all students have the skills they need to be safe – physically and emotionally – when they are engaging with anybody over the multitude of digital platforms,” Strauss said. 

The free digital citizenship lessons can be found on the Common Sense Media website under ‘Education’ and can be downloaded for instruction and public viewing.