In the news - Tom Daley cyberbullied

Anti-bullying charities have jumped to the defence of Team GB diving star and A-grade pupil Tom Daley after he found himself subject to a cyberbullying attack following his performance at London 2012.

In the news: Teaching resources - 1 August

Cyberbullying of Olympic competitor Daley leads to arrest


Anti-bullying charities have jumped to the defence of Team GB diving star and A-grade pupil Tom Daley after he found himself subject to a cyberbullying attack following his performance at London 2012.

The athlete, 18, who placed just outside the medals on Monday, received a Twitter message in the aftermath telling him he had “let down” his late father, who died from brain cancer last year.

The 17-year-old behind the Twitter message apologised after his tweet attracted criticism, but later made a threat to “drown” Daley in a pool. The author of the abusive messages was arrested in Weymouth on Tuesday as a result and issued with a formal harassment warning by Dorset Police.

Daley – who was subject to bullying while at his previous school and now attends Plymouth College in Devon – responded to the abuse by posting: “After giving it my all...you get idiots sending me this...”

Cyberbullying is a growing problem among young people. Between April 2011 and March 2012, 2,410 calls for help were made to ChildLine about the issue. A total of 1,260 were from girls, 366 from boys and the gender was unknown in 784 cases.

“There is no doubt people speak much more freely if they are using technology than they would if they were face to face with someone using their voice, or on the phone,” Sue Minto, head of ChildLine, told the TES.

“But they are absolutely aware they are bullying a real person, there is just a danger they get sucked into the freedom of speech the internet brings and they can’t drag it back.”

Ms Minto’s comments were echoed by Richard Piggin, deputy chief executive of BeatBullying, who said staff at the charity had reported a rise in the number of incidents of cyberbullying over the past five years.

“It is easier to say something horrible to someone online than it would be to say it to them face to face,” he said.

“Young people behave in this way because they feel as if they can get away with it online, and there won’t be the same consequences and repercussions.”

If you have been affected by cyberbullying, or if you would like to learn more about it, ChildLine has more information here.

More Olympic coverage: Teacher wins Team GB’s first gold.



Related resources


Be aware on the web

  • This discursive lesson will help students understand the dangers of cyberbullying, sharing personal info and file-sharing.

Online social guidelines

  • Try Childnet's colourful booklet to help parents and pupils stay safe online.

Online communication: what to teach your students

  • Find out about the key areas that you need to address when teaching your students how to become responsible online citizens.

Netiquette

  • Learn good online manners with this helpful dos and don'ts list.


Further news resources


First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

In the news this week


School choir joins megastar on his mission to Mars.

Bradley Wiggins has won the Tour de France, becoming the first British man to do so in the cycling competition's 75-year history.

The Robben Island Bible is just one part of the new Shakespeare: staging the world exhibition, which looks at the real and imagined worlds of William Shakespeare.

A private school on the south coast will be prouder than most when no fewer than four of its pupils line up for the opening ceremony at London 2012 next week.