To the Editor:

As I was reading The Spectrum this morning, I found myself compelled to write.

As a parent of three, a coach, former classroom teacher and current school administrator, I must voice my opinion just as Ruth O'Hare (Spectrum, July 25) has done.

I personally am excited for the realignment in our school system.

Educated in the Region 15 schools, I went through a system where fifth-graders went to middle school with eighth-graders.

I am confident my introduction to a departmentalized educational environment where I had a teacher who had expertise in a specific subject matter assisted in the development of my academic success.

I was able to develop emotionally as I was able to join band and play soccer and baseball and participate in a talented and gifted art program.

I learned about teamwork, goals and even perseverance after being cut from the soccer team early in middle school.

I made new friends and had a truly enjoyable experience in a Blue Ribbon school of distinction and I'm excited for my children to have those same develoomental and academic opportunities.

Without doing the necessary research to support the following statement, let me simply share my observations, experiences and opinions concerning bullying.

It is in the schools, in the workplace and online. Students, administrators, teachers and parents must all be on the same page and proactive and responsive to reports of inappropriate conduct or hurtful language.

The advent of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Kick, to name just a few, have increasingly become the epicenter of reports from students and teachers.

Online interactions can carry on outside of school time, into late hours of the night and even manifest themselves in schools, eventually interupting the school day and therefore requiring adult attention and intervention.

It is necessary parents either remove these devices from their children so they cannot access these resources or place restrictions so adolescents do not interact with this nonsense.

Know what accounts your children have and are hiding from you. Do you know what POS, PAL or PAW (parents over shoulder, parents are listening or parents are watching) stand for in text messages and email?

It is the parental responsibility to be informed and mindful of their children's cyber life and habits.

As a digital native born and raised with computers, I know their potential value when presented to children to support and advance the teaching and learning process.

But I believe these sites do nothing more than erode the moral fiber of children and communities.

Parents do not need to be fearful of fifth-graders mixing it up with the eighth-graders. It will be fine.

This one-sided story does nothing more than excite the ill-informed and fuel unnecessary concern for a practice that has been, and currently is, practiced throughout our state and nation.

Raymond Manka

New Milford