Let's Work Together to Prevent Bullying on Social Networks; Bullying Is a Daily Reality for Many Children across Wales and Cyber Bullying Is a Growing Problem in Primary Schools, Says Dominic Broad, Deputy Head Teacher at Barry Island Primary School

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 19, 2016 | Go to article overview

Let's Work Together to Prevent Bullying on Social Networks; Bullying Is a Daily Reality for Many Children across Wales and Cyber Bullying Is a Growing Problem in Primary Schools, Says Dominic Broad, Deputy Head Teacher at Barry Island Primary School


Byline: EDUCATION EDUCATION Edited by Abbie Wightwick 029 2024 3765 gareth.evans@walesonline.co.uk k5 k

NO-ONE likes to think of a child being bullied, but unfortunately it's a daily reality for many children across Wales.

I've been in the education industry for just under 10 years and sadly I have already lost count of the number of children who have spoken to me about their own bullying experiences - something which certainly doesn't get easier, regardless of how often it happens.

Unfortunately, it's not just the individuals who are affected by this abuse.

Bullying has a knock-on effect that touches the whole school community, from peers and parents to teachers and school support staff.

It's important to look at the repercussions caused by bullying and how we - parents and teachers - can work together to eradicate this problem.

While it's certainly not a new problem, bullying has most definitely gained a new identity.

Social media and technological advances have given bullies the opportunity to become faceless, often giving perpetrators a sense of diminished responsibility.

The type of abuse often encountered in schools today is rooted within technology, whether it's someone being left out of a tournament on Fifa, or leaving abusive comments on someone's YouTube channel, teachers and parents have a responsibility to learn about the new realms within which that bullying exists.

These relatively new problems that stem from technology, particularly social media, are not isolated to secondary schools.

More and more young children are accessing social sites like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

The onus here needs to be on parents to reinforce the age limits of such sites and educate children on the potential dangers.

Age restrictions exist for a multitude of reasons, not only to protect minors from inappropriate content, but also because they don't necessarily possess the emotional maturity to handle certain situations which manifest in an online environment.

I have known children as young as seven to have Instagram and You-Tube accounts, and this is opening them up to an online community of comments and interactions that they are simply not emotionally equipped to deal with.

But if one person in a class has a Facebook account, it inadvertently sets a precedent that this is OK, and more and more children go home to talk their parents into letting them set up their own account. …

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