herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

'Pupils should be taught how to stop cyberbullies'

Preventing cyberbullying should be taught as a subject in secondary schools, said a spokesperson for Ireland's school principals.

More action is needed to end the misery caused by perpetrators using mobile phones and computer social network sites, said Clive Byrne (below right), director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD).

A dedicated classroom module on cyberbullying must be made an integral part of the junior and senior school curriculum, he said.

He called for more funding and training for school leaders to tackle school bullying. And more resources for closer links with parents.

Cyberbullying has "impacted upon morale in schools across Ireland", he said.

In February, the principals' association (NAPD) commissioned a national survey on cyberbullying which showed an increase in students reporting being both the victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying compared to a similar survey conducted a year earlier.

The NAPD Cyberbullying Survey is carried out annually and polls a thousand people right across Ireland, including parents and children.

Mr Byrne said: "NAPD research has consistently shown that parents want greater help with the problem of cyberbullying and look to schools and teachers to fill the information deficit which exists."

Mr Byrne is scheduled to speak today at a Dublin conference co-hosted by Bully4u and the National Anti-Bullying Centre at Dublin City University.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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