Barnardos Hosts Cyberbullying Webinar on May 31st
Posted on Tuesday 31 May 2022 in Press Releases, Schools
Barnardos children’s charity hosted a cyberbullying webinar on May 31st to bring together a group of experts to discuss cyberbullying within Ireland, how it is happening and the role schools, parents and the tech industry should play in trying to address it. The children’s charity welcomes the commitment from Government to develop a new action plan on bullying within schools and the proactive work currently being undertaken by the Steering Committee established by Minister Norma Foley. The charity also calls on the government to add online safety as an explicit part of the primary curriculum.
The event heard from Government representatives, experts in Barnardos, Webwise' Youth Advisory Panel, representatives from YouTube and Tik Tok to hear different perspectives on cyberbullying and can be watched back Plugged In Switched Off - A webinar about cyberbullying - YouTube.
The Minister for Education Norma Foley T.D. said: “The prevention of all bullying, including cyberbullying, is a key priority for the education sector. The Department is undertaking a full review of all anti-bullying procedures, which is now open for public consultation. I encourage all pupils and students, parents, school staff members, partners and those involved in school communities to ‘have their say’ on the consultation process on preventing and tackling bullying in schools. We want to hear from as wide a range of voices as possible during this review process and I would encourage all those in the education sector to either complete this survey online or to make an online written submission.”
Young person Prachi Agrawal, Webwise Youth Advisory Panel Member said: “In a heavily digitally dependant world, this generation is arguably the most impacted by the harmful effects of social media and the internet - including young people in conversations such as this talk about digital safety is extremely important - to learn from and act upon our concerns and experiences, and to make the online world safer and more positive."
Young person Billie Constantinou, Webwise Youth Advisory Panel Member said; "As a young person I think it's imperative to have conversations about cyber bullying and its consequences. We have grown up in a purely digitised age and so there is no one better to offer opinions and advice. Wisdom no longer comes with age, it comes with experience and as a young person that is what I hope to portray through events such as this discussion today."
Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly said: “Our focus this year is on the impact of cyberbullying on a child, their feelings, their behaviours and their friendships. We want to work with experts, the tech industry and Government to ensure children are getting the right information and guidance to have a positive experience online. We want to support their teachers, schools, and their parents so that children learn how reflect on their online behaviour and that online safety is a part of their day to day life. At Barnardos we say childhood lasts a lifetime, which is why it is so important for children to be provided with the right tools as early as possible.”
Ryan Meade, Public Policy Manager, Google Ireland said: "We are delighted to host Barnardos for today’s very important cyberbullying discussion, which complements the Barnardos Online Safety Programme we have supported for the last three years. Google and Barnardos have a shared goal to empower young people to be safe explorers of our digital world, and by working together we can reach more children, parents and teachers to support better internet education in Irish schools. We recognize our responsibility as a company to ensure that the internet is accessible and used in a positive way. At Google we’re finding ways to help children make smart choices and protect themselves online, and helping parents find the right balance for their families”.
The Barnardos Online Safety Programme delivers workshops in primary schools to children aged 8-12 about how to be safe online. With support from Google.org, Barnardos has supported more than 23,000 children already this year.
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