According to results from a recent study, cyber-bullying is now such a common occurrence that over half of children in Britain consider it to be part of everyday life.
The same study, which polled 2200 children, parents and teachers across England, also revealed that while 70 per cent of kids would confide in their parents if they were victimised online, four in 10 parents did not feel well-equipped enough to deal with such issues. A common reason cited by parents was general ignorance when it came to setting up filters on computers and mobile phones in a bid to protect their children.
National coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, Luke Roberts, said: “Our research shows that cyber-bullying is an everyday problem for today’s children, but teachers and parents are not always able to provide the advice and support young people need.”
Speaking of cyber-bullying, Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the perpetrators of such abuse are not above the law, and has urged individuals to boycott websites that are not proactively attempting to tackle this problem. Campaigners however, have marred this approach as too simplistic and are calling for some kind of official legislation.
Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler agrees that new laws need to be established in order to address this growing concern that is continuing to claim the lives of children around the globe – a view that reflects the increasing pressure on the Government to introduce legislation that specifically addresses this issue.
One way to address this growing problem would be to introduce a module on cyber-bullying and how to deal with it to the national curriculum in schools; an idea that 40 per cent of young people and more than two-thirds of teachers agree would be useful. In addition, the survey also found that over four in 10 teachers admitted that they were unsure of how to respond to cyber-bullying, as nothing was taught in their schools on the subject.
In support of anti-bullying week which is coming up next month, Counselling Directory have recently launched a new fact-sheet on how to stay safe online, featuring lots of practical information and tips suitable for both parents and children, with a specific section dedicated to cyber-bullying. If you have any practical tips, advice or experiences of cyber-bullying, we would like to hear from you in the comments below.