We are all too familiar with the prevalence of bullying in our society and with the new era of social networking, we have to recognise that bullying within the school yard now encompasses Cyber Bullying within Cyberspace.
Bullying is defined as unwanted, negative behaviour - verbal, psychological or physical - conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) which is repeated over time.
Cyber Bullying is a form of online bullying done through the posting of cruel or even threatening messages online via text messages or through social networking such as through Facebook or those your daughter uses Snapchat and Instagram. One of the most disturbing aspects of Cyber Bullying is that it can and does pursue children into their own homes.
The Education Welfare Act 2000 requires schools to have a Code of Behaviour which should contain an Anti-Bullying Policy.
The Minster for Education established a Working Group who, in January 2013, drew up an Action Plan on Bullying. Following on from that Action Plan, Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools were developed in September 2013 which obliged principals and teachers in schools to have new Anti-Bullying Procedures implemented in their schools by Easter 2014.
It is clear that the definition of bullying within these Anti-Bullying Procedures includes Cyber Bullying.
The aim of the Anti-Bullying Procedures is to ensure that each school has in place a step by step procedure for dealing with bullying.
Every school should have in place these Anti-Bullying Procedures. Any concerned parent should immediately report to the school the bullying that their son or daughter is experiencing at the hands of another pupil in the school so that it can take whatever steps are appropriate within its Procedures.
If there has been a cyber bullying issue online, victims can “block” the offending party from communicating with him/her via Snap Chat and from following him/her on her Instagram account. Similar blocks can be set up for Facebook.
Any parent with concerns should also report the matter to Instagram and Snap Chat and request that they take action in blocking the classmate from those social medial channels.
Ongoing diligent parental vigilance is encouraged.
Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or [email protected] if you would like more information.
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