Friday, 12 July 2013

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

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...
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