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Schools demand classes on cyber bullying

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 02/09/2014. Schools demand classes on cyber bullyingTags: Education And Politics Parenting Teachers

With the number of high profile suicide cases recently, cyber bullying has become a real threat to students causing teachers and principals to call for the Department of Education to provide funding to help them tackle this issue.

The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is calling for dedicated classes on cyberbullying in both junior and senior cycles in schools. At yesterday’s National Cyberbullying Conference in DCU, members from NAPD, along with speakers from youth, gay and anti-bullying groups all spoke about the increasing and disturbing problems cyber bullying is causing young people in Ireland.

In a survey done by the NAPD in February this year found that almost one in ten students had admitted bullying another student in school online, and 16% of students surveyed told that they had been a victim of cyber bullying. These figures have led Director of the NAPD, Clive Byrne, to call for action, with a demand for more funding for teacher training in schools. He told the conference, “Parents want greater help with the problem of cyberbullying and look to schools and teachers to fill the information deficit which exists.”

However, if cyber bullying proposals are introduced by Dept of Education, a radical overhaul of legislation is also needed, according to David Fagan, a health and safety law expert, who was also speaking at the conference. He told the Irish Independent, "There is no specific legislation here which deals with this issue. Bullying and cyberbullying need to be defined, and penalties around such need to urgently be introduced here," Mr Fagan said.
"There is all sorts of legislation here, such as the Children's Act and Education Act, but the State doesn't recognise bullying as a concept. Here, you have to bring a personal injury case against someone which doesn't specify bullying.”
"Even schools and teachers don't seem to realise how they could not be covered by appropriate legislation when it comes to dealing with this issue.”

If you or your children are affected by cyber bullying please read our articles and follow the links to dedicated Irish support groups and bodies.


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