Talking with students about a social media hoax

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The following message is from City School District of Albany Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams:

Dear Families:

I am writing to let you know about a serious matter that came to our attention Friday. Some students have reported that there is a hoax on TikTok deeming Saturday, April 24 “National Rape Day.” Although this is a hoax, we understand how this could be concerning to students.    

Please be aware that seeing or hearing about such information, even if it is a hoax, can be troubling to students and elicit a variety of emotions. Some students, or someone they care about, may even be survivors of sexual assault.

Student Support Team members – school counselors, school psychologists or school social workers – always are available to support students. All students are welcome to reach out to them at school at any time.

We offer the following suggestions for you to follow at home:

  • If your child asks about this hoax, reassure them that it is in fact a hoax, and that it is not appropriate or acceptable
  • Be sure that electronic devices are restricted to age-appropriate content
  • Keep your internet-connected devices in an open area where you can supervise children when they are on the web and playing online games. Be aware of the apps they are using and the websites they are visiting
  • Remind your child to let you or another adult know immediately if they view or learn about any inappropriate or upsetting content online or via social media
  • Remind your child not to give out personal information, especially online or via social media

This is an opportunity to remind your children about informed social media usage and personal safety. Currently, society is inundated with information via the internet and social media platforms. It is important to remember that information found online can at times be untrue and misleading. 

We encourage you to visit the following websites for more information: 

The safety and security of all of our students, faculty and staff throughout the City School District of Albany is a top priority. If you have any questions about this matter or safety and security in general at your school, please contact your child’s principal.