Anti-cyber-bullying drive unveiled


A new campaign to increase awareness about cyber-bullying has been unveiled to coincide with the start of the school year.

Campaign group Bully4u said the prevalence of mobile phones and Facebook even amongest primary school children ensured that the victims of bullying were now exposed to their tormentors 24/7.

Bully 4u founder and director Jim Harding said: "Cyber bullying is a vastly growing problem as children nowadays are increasingly immersing themselves in social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter."

"Children will not tell their parents that they are being cyber bullied as they are afraid that their mobile phone and internet access will be taken from them," he said.

"We plan on educating the school staff and parents on noticing the signs of a bullied child."

The group is planning to hold a series of workshops for students at primary and post-primary levels as well as information evenings for parents’ associations and training for teachers on the subject of cyber-bullying.

Recent research suggested 23 per cent of Irish schoolchildren were at risk of being being bullied, the group said, with that risk being substantially increased when mobile phones and social media sites

Another study suggested up to 80 per cent of third and fourth class students now had mobile phones and a similar proportion had access to the internet.

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