Saturday, 2 November 2013

Katy's call to combat cyber-bullying

Local MP Katy Clark has received cross-party support in the House of Commons for a Motion that calls for children to be taught about the nature and dangers of cyber-bullying.

Ms Clark’s Early Day Motion calls on the UK and Scottish governments to make time in school curriculums for lessons that will set-out what constitutes bullying through the internet and social media sites, and what measures can be taken to combat such behaviour.

Despite cyber-bullying being on the increase, only a third of schools currently have a specific policy on the issue.  Ms Clark’s call for action comes after a number of recent cases where young people have taken their own lives after becoming a victim of online bullying.  The Labour MP for North Ayrshire & Arran is a patron of the anti-cyber-bullying charity Cybersmile.

Katy Clark said, “The increase in cyber-bullying in schools is deeply concerning.  Unfortunately, as more and more young people own devices such as tablets and smart-phones, which allow them to connect to the internet at any time, this is a problem that is only likely to increase in the near future. It is therefore essential that all schools are able to both educate children on the topic and provide them with the support services they require.  While some schools are doing just that, many have yet to fully catch up with this growing problem.  We need to act now if we’re to prevent further tragic cases from hitting the headlines.”

Scott Freeman, founder of Cybersmile, added, “By finding a way to incorporate cyber-bullying into school curriculums we would be not only educating children about the dangers of cyber-bullying and where to get help, but also what constitutes cyber-bullying.  This would be extremely beneficial for many children who display cyber-bullying-related behaviour but often have no idea they are actually bullying their peers online.”

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