Stopping the cyberbullies

15th February 2008 at 00:00
There are no easy ways to stop cyberbullying, according to Dr Shaheen Shariff. But after she examined what countries across the world were doing to tackle the problem, there was one government website she would endorse. It is the UK's "Don't Suffer in Silence" site.

Dr Shariff has recommended it to schools in other countries, saying that it is "well advanced compared with the EU and North American responses as far as comprehensive information and guidelines are concerned".

The website, set up by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, tells schools their duties in tackling the problem.

- Bullying via mobile phone or the internet is included in their mandatory anti-bullying policies and teachers should have sufficient knowledge to deal with cyberbullying.

- The curriculum should teach pupils about the risks of new communications technologies and how to use them safely

- All e-communications used on the school site or as part of school activities off-site should be monitored.

- Clear policies are set about the use of mobile phones when young people are under the school's authority.

- Internet blocking technologies are updated and harmful sites blocked.

- Security systems are in place to prevent images and information about pupils and staff being accessed improperly from outside school.

- Schools work with police and other partners on managing cyberbullying.

- www.dfes.gov.ukbullyingcyberbullying_whatcanyoudo.

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