A petition has been circulating on the internet to end teaching kindergarten through second grade students about the ethics of social media.

Some Vernon Parish students are being given homework assignments teaching them about social media through the iSafe program. This is a national program that teaches internet safety to schools, businesses and government organizations. The iSafe program is taught in schools to kindergarten through 12th grade students.

Kat Champagne, whose children attend West Leesville Elementary, created the petition when she found a homework assignment about social media privacy settings in her children’s backpacks. “As a parent to four elementary students, I work hard on shielding them from social media,” she said. I check their backpacks everyday, never did I expect to find a lesson on ‘how to make your photogram private.’ So I looked into it, and this is getting taught to kids as young as kindergarten. I understand you can't shield them forever, but for the ones that are so young, and innocent, we still can save them from the corrupted internet world.”

While Champagne feels the iSafe program is useful and should be taught to older students, her concern is that, with grades kindergarten through second, the time in the classroom would be better utilized studying more essential subjects. “iSafe is a wonderful program, and although I believe it is the parents’ job to teach their child, 5-12th grade students will benefit from the knowledge of social media safety,” said Champagne. “I would think it should be a requirement they know how to read and write in cursive before we introduce social media.”

She went to the school looking for answers speaking to teachers and administration, said Champagne. She has signed a form exempting her children from the program.

The petition can be viewed at www.thepetitionsite.com. “When I started this petition, my main objective was to make as many people in the community aware; not only aware, but concerned. I mean what exactly are they teaching these young children in school?”