Limerick boy named ‘child of the year’ by French newspaper

Luke Culhane posted a video online in February calling for an end to cyberbullying

Luke Culhane from Limerick has been named the 2016 ‘child of the year’ by French newspaper Mon Quotidien for standing up to cyberbulling. Image: YouTube.

Luke Culhane from Limerick has been named the 2016 ‘child of the year’ by French newspaper Mon Quotidien for standing up to cyberbulling. Image: YouTube.

 

A teenage boy from Limerick has been named the 2016 “child of the year” by French newspaper Mon Quotidien for standing up to cyberbullying.

Luke Culhane (13) made headlines in February 2016 when he posted a video on YouTube entitled Cyber Bullying: Create No Hate.

The video, which was produced by his father Dermot Culhane and has been viewed more than 550,000 times, recounts Luke’s personal experience of online bullying.

The teenager said he felt inspired to raise awareness of online bullying and show people about how to handle this type of abuse after he was personally attacked online.

On Wednesday Mon Quotidien, a french daily newspaper for young people. hailed Luke as ‘l’enfant de l’année 2016’ (child of the year for 2016) and congratulated him for condemning online bullying.

Video:

In a short article accompanied by a front page photo of Luke, the newspaper writes that one in five readers voted for the young Limerick teen to be named child of the year.

He told the newspaper that he felt he had done something worthy in 2016 and had received messages of support from people around the world after he posted the video.

“I was even in contact with a school in South Africa that showed the video to its students... Only by working together can we fight back against online abuse.”

Moved

An 11-year-old reader of the paper wrote that she was deeply moved by Luke’s video. “His story found a way of fighting back without violence thanks to his video,” Julie told the paper. “It’s a very effective method. I hope that it will help other victims.”

The YouTube video shows Luke being bullied on various social media platforms. Each insult he receives translates into a physical injury, leaving him with a bloody nose, a black eye and a broken arm.

Towards the end of the short film, Luke speaks directly to the camera and asks; “have you every cyber bullied anyone?” He pauses before asking “have you ever been cyber bullied?”

He goes on; “have you ever witnessed cyber bullying? 100 per cent of teenagers answer yes to at least one of those questions. So that means everybody has a part to play to help stop this needless behaviour online.”

“Play your part by using stop, block, tell. Stop and think before posting something online that might be upsetting to someone. Think about how you would feel if you were in their position. Block. If you are a victim of cyber bullying block and report the person that has been bullying you. Tell. If you think you’re being cyber bullied, report the person that’s bullying you to a parent, guardian or teacher. Cyber bullying is not ok, nobody deserves it and we can all help to put an end to it for good.”

The video closes with the message #CreateNoHate which Luke has used across Twitter, Facebook and his website in his campaign to end cyber bullying.