Online bullying, grooming and the dangers of social media are being brought to life in a thought provoking theatre show for students at secondary schools in the Derbyshire Dales.
Escape K3.4 is a production and interactive workshop by the Saltmine Theatre Company, which has been funded by Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Dales District Council, which covers serious personal safety issues that teenagers may face in the online world.
It covers the topics of online bullying, internet dependence, image sharing, compulsive gaming and pornography addiction in a safe, secure and respectful manner while encouraging students to make informed, considered and healthy choices around their online activities.
School years eight, nine, 10 and 11 have all been included in the shows at Lady Manners School in Bakewell, Highfields School in Matlock and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School at Ashbourne.
Police Sergeant Mat Winterbottom, of the North Division Community Partnership and Licensing Team, said: “We are doing much more and spending more time online these days, chatting, shopping, meeting people sharing images and watching videos. Social media and the internet is a fantastic resource and when used safely and responsibly, can be a great too for keeping in touch with our friends and family but we do need to be switched on and aware of the risks and consequences.
“The Escape K3.4 production, and subsequent interactive workshop, is a good way to raise awareness of the dangers and encourage our young people to make safe and reasoned choices while online.”
Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, Councillor Lewis Rose, who is also chairman of the Safer Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, said: "Internet safety is an increasingly important part of our everyday lives and I am delighted that we are supporting young people here in the Derbyshire Dales to be educated and empowered to make wise choices through innovative storytelling and interactive workshops."
You can find out more about the Saltmine Theatre Company and their ‘Theatre in Education’ programme by visiting the website: www.saltminetrust.org.uk.
If you or anyone you know is worried about any of the sensitive topics covered by the show, there are a number of services and helplines available:
CEOP can help if you're worried about the way someone has been communicating with you online: www.ceop.police.uk
Bullying UK has information and advice on cyberbullying: www.bullying.co.uk
Childline is a free, private and confidential service: www.childline.org.uk
Fight the New Drug provides information and looks at the effects of pornography: www.fightthenewdrug.org
Samaritans offer a free service and you can get in touch via phone or email: www.samaritans.org