Last week in the media there was much discussion of an international ring of voyeuristic men sharing the images of young girls, some of whom were Sydney schoolgirls. The ring itself has been shut down I believe, but the debate rages on about the means by which these men ‘traded’ and ‘stalked’ those involved, the objectification of young women, the images involved and why they would be posted on social media, and how we are raising our young women and men. All incredibly complex and layered issues.
Our first reaction these days is that social media is bad and I cannot allow my children to use it! This reaction, although understandable, is not logical. We live in the world of social media and we generally all engage in that ‘snap and post’ world. Prohibition and fear, as we all know, has never worked and education in this area really is the key. We must question both our daughters and our sons on their use of their social media accounts. How do they refer to themselves and others, what language do they use, would it be a suitable way to speak to a person face to face? We cannot simply accept that is ‘how we do it these days”, and move on. What images do our children post, do we post? Are the images provocative or negative in any way? If so why is that necessary? These are the questions parents must ask themselves and their children and this discussion must be open and ongoing. It is not enough for parents to say ‘I don’t know anything about social media’. The conversation about what we post and why, is really all about respect. Respect for self and others. At Loreto we will continue to educate our young women on the appropriate use of social media and we will be talking about this very example of how women continue to be objectified in this manner. We cannot do this alone and we need our parents to be proactive in this area too. Together with parents I am sure we can assist the growth of our young women to hopefully be less vulnerable and incredibly confident that their digital footprint speaks of them as a woman that values themselves and others.
We wish Year 11 every success as they embark on the next chapter of their schooling with the Leadership Ritual this afternoon and the Year 11 Examinations that commence on Monday. During the week Year 12 leaders spent an afternoon with the new Student Council sharing their wisdom and leadership tips. It was fantastic to see the newly elected leaders brimming with ideas and felicity. We pray for Year 11 in this time of transition and we wish them every success for the year ahead.
Tonight we will celebrate Year 12 HSC Visual Arts, D&T and Extension History students as they showcase their work. All Year 12 in these practical subject areas has worked incredibly hard and it will be brilliant to see their works displayed tonight.
Congratulations to Olivia Bartram, Year 12, who is currently rowing for Australia in the World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam. The team she is rowing with have made it through to the Semi Finals which will take place tomorrow. We wish Olivia and her boat crew every success.
I look forward to the festival of fathers this weekend at the Loreto Father Daughter Dinner and the Father Daughter Eucharist on Sunday. It is great that we have almost 400 attending the dinner on Saturday night. It looks like it will be a fantastic celebration.
So many students, staff, and I presume parents too, are sick at the moment. I reiterate what I wrote last week – if your daughter is sick let her stay home and rest for a full recovery. We will support her in every way upon her return to school.
Prayer for Young People
O God, we pray and beseech you
to guide and protect young people
from the dangers that are ever present in our world today.
Be with them, as they experience both sickness and health,
sorrow and joy,
loneliness and friendship,
success and failure.
give to them the courage and strength
to make the right decisions
as they journey through life.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit,
may they come to know and experience your loving care.
We make this prayer through Christ Our Lord.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins