85% of children aged 9-12 using Facebook | Irish Examiner

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85% of children aged 9-12 using Facebook | Irish Examiner.

Despite a minimum age limit of 13 years, 85% of nine to 12-year-olds are using social networking website Facebook, causing principals and teachers to have to deal with cyberbullying on an almost daily basis.

Irish anti-bullying service Bully 4U surveyed 1,720 children between nine and 17 years over the course of two months, asking them about their web usage.  One section of the survey asked different age groups whether they were on Facebook and Twitter.

It found that 85% of nine to 12-year-olds were using Facebook and 35% were on Twitter. For 13 to 14-year-olds 97% were on Facebook and 50% were on Twitter. And in the 15 to 17-year-old category, 98% were on Facebook and 55% were on Twitter.

The huge presence of the youngest children surveyed on Facebook was a significant concern for Bully 4U director Jim Harding…

Dealing with bullies – Political News | Irish & International Politics | The Irish Times – Fri, Jul 12, 2013

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Dealing with bullies – Political News | Irish & International Politics | The Irish Times – Fri, Jul 12, 2013.

At a time of rising concern over the effects of cyberbullying, new proposals by the Government’s special rapporteur on child protection to criminalise this kind of abusive behaviour are a welcome step in the right direction. Research suggests almost one in five secondary school students have felt bullied or abused online. But pupils, parents and teachers often feel powerless to tackle the problem. Legal difficulties in proving harassment on social networking websites mean there have been relatively few prosecutions to date. The report by Dr Geoffrey Shannon recommends amending existing laws used to combat harassment – the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act – to provide for a specific offence of cyberbullying. Significantly, it also proposes that homophobic bullying in schools should be classified as a child protection issue. This would require schools to address these issues and report them to social services, if necessary…

Facebook agrees to help schools tackle cyberbullies

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Facebook agrees to help schools tackle cyberbullies.

A deal was brokered at a meeting between senior Facebook executives and officials at the Department of Education.

Facebook has been under growing pressure after a number of disturbing incidents where students or teachers were targeted on social media sites.

In one case earlier this year,  Facebook repeatedly refused to remove an offensive photograph and text casting a slur on a teacher at the second-level Colaiste Chiarain, Croom, Co Limerick, stating that it did not believe it violated its standards on bullying and harassment.

iPad use in schools ‘worsens bullying problem’ – Independent.ie

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iPad use in schools ‘worsens bullying problem’ – Independent.ie.

While the digital revolution is being welcomed in schools, it will “put weapons in the hands of pupils”, an Oireachtas committee was told.

Cyber security expert Paul C Dwyer said such technology could be used for the wrong reasons, such as taking pictures and using them inappropriately.

“This is like a viral epidemic; you think you have a problem now,” he told the committee on transport and communications.

Mr Dwyer was among representatives from the National Anti-Bullying Coalition addressing the latest in a series of committee hearings on the challenges arising from irresponsible use of social media.

He said there was a need for a holistic approach to dealing with the range of online threats, including cyber predators…

In cyberspace no one can hear you scream

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In cyberspace no one can hear you scream.

The perpetrator and the victim are familiar roles in any bullying scenario but a lot less attention is paid to the bystander.

Yet, statistically, your teenage son or daughter is much more likely to have the “walk on” part of bystander, particularly when the bullying is carried out in cyberspace. They may think they are doing nothing when they glance at hurtful comments aimed at somebody else tumbling in on a news feed on a social media page, but they are involved.

There are grades of bystanders, says clinical psychologist Sarah O’Doherty, which range from being actively involved and encouraging the bullying – “you may not be the person who instigated it but as soon as it starts up you jump in and start adding at the same volume” – right down the scale to somebody who is just watching and doing nothing.

“You are never neutral if you are a witness to bullying,” she explains. “You have a choice to either do something or not do something – either way you are making a decision about it.”…

Coalition to launch media drive against cyberbullying

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Coalition to launch media drive against cyberbullying.

A national media campaign highlighting the implications of cyberbullying will form part of a Government plan to combat the problem among young people this year.

At the publication of the Government plan on bullying yesterday, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said for some children and young people, “bullying is a scourge that can . . . obliterate their happiness”…

Union: Cyberbullying impossible to stamp out | Irish Examiner

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Union: Cyberbullying impossible to stamp out | Irish Examiner.

The union representing secondary-school teachers has insisted they are doing everything they can to tackle cyberbullying — but admits the issue is almost impossible to stamp out.

Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland assistant general secretary Moira Leydon told RTÉ Radio’s Drivetime that schools have had policies specifically targeting bullying for more than 20 years.

However, she said the development of technology in recent years has made blocking out all forms of bullying far more difficult…

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