An interesting article appeared on news.com.au during the school break. The item referred to Australia as being the Facebook bullying capital of the world based, on a study conducted by The Ipsos Social Research Institute. In this study, Australia was ranked fifth in the world for cyber-bullying, although nine out of ten parents say that when cyber-bullying occurred, it was via such sites as Facebook.
The article goes on to say that the rise of cyber bullying was a massive concern as it took it harassment from the playground directly into victim’s bedrooms. John Dalgleish, Kids Helpline manager of strategy and research, was quoted as saying “Cyber bullying has a profound impact as it widens the audience (from school) and means it can be seen by anyone. It can be used as an extension of face-to-face bullying and takes it from the classroom and into a child’s own bedroom undermining their sense of safety and security.”
KidsHelpline offers counseling to bullying victims, and Mr Dalgleish prompts children to come forward and speak out. Children who feel threatened can tell a trusted adult, teacher or parent who can take action on their behalf, and in extreme cases take it to the police. “The first thing victims need to know is it’s not their fault. Action can be taken and it can be stopped.”
At Coomera Anglican College, we are dedicated to promoting safe internet and mobile phone use. In Term One, we will launch our own CyberSafety website for parents, students and teachers to consult.
The introduction of laptops across the College has really taken our learning capabilities to a new and exciting level. Whilst the students love having access to a laptop that they can call their own, I have been impressed by the response of the teachers and the way that they have embraced the technology. Teachers in general are notorious for not wanting to change their ways and modify what they have perfected over the years. Through a combination of dynamic teamwork, willingness to develop skills and the realisation that using technology can enhance a student’s education, our teachers are making the necessary changes to fully utilise laptops and their features.(Killalea, D. and Paine, C., January 18, 2012. ANTI-SOCIAL NETWORK: Australia – the Facebook bullying capital, http://www.news.com.au/technology/anti-social-network-australia-the-facebook-bullying-capital/story-e6frfro0-1226246496953#ixzz1kzdtURlc)