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Ireland's leading youth website SpunOut.ie made a submission to the Joint Committee of the Oireachtas on Transport & Communications in advance of their hearings which began today with an appearance by the Minister, Pat Rabbitte TD.
The full submission can be downloaded above.
Our key recommendations to Government in relation to Cyberbullying are:
a. Encourage parents to take an greater and positive role in their child’s online presence
b. Ensure a comprehensive education programme (not just one-off workshops) is embedded into the curriculum in all primary and second level schools;
i. to educate young people how to behave respectfully online and offline,
ii. to empower them to protect their privacy online and challenge bullying behaviour where they see it;
iii. to warn them about the harm caused by bullying behaviour
c. Encourage schools to involve senior cycle students in the digital education of younger students
d. Ensure schools include pupils and parents in the creation of meaningful anti-bullying policies
e. Ensure schools empower young people to take action on the issue of bullying in their own school communities
f. Ensure schools encourage young people to develop their digital skills and be creative online and not restrict access to technology
g. Pilot a new anonymous reporting tool in schools called ‘Bullytag’ which is in operation successfully in Canada
h. Fund an annual national campaign to promote intolerance to bullying behaviour in all its forms
i. Work at EU level to ensure any website which has a ‘social’ purpose has a sufficiently resourced safety team monitoring reports of abusive behaviour and ensuring response times and feedback are approriate to the different causes for concern.
j. Fund peer-reviewed research into the triggers, causes and potential interventions to tackle bullying and cyberbullying in schools. Much great work has already been done in this area by Professor Mona O’Moore in the Anti-bullying Centre at TCD and Brian O’Neill in DIT
k. Provide guidance to employers as to their repsonsibility in monitoring and responding to cyberbullying in the workplace
l. Provide clear guidance to Gardai as to how to deal with severe cases of bullying and cyberbullying under existing laws
For more information contact: email@example.com