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Cyberbullying impact revealed

8 February 2012

With more and more hand-held devices being internet enabled, the scope and frequency of cyberbullying has rapidly changed and continues to do so. ‘Beatbullying’, a bullying prevention charity, has published a study into cyberbullying amongst children, young people and teachers in the UK.

1 in 13 children experience persistent and intentional bullying. Nearly half reported the bullying started offline but continued online. Teachers can also be victims of the widespread use of social network and rating websites.

There is no doubt that cyberbullying is detrimental to wellbeing, confidence and self esteem both in and outside of school. Reluctance of victims to go to school, can seriously affect attainment. The constant and intense nature of cyberbullying means the impact can be devastating. These issues must be seriously addressed by schools in their behaviour and e-communications policies, ensuring that appropriate prevention and disciplinary measures are introduced. This also triggers discussion around how legislation such as the Harassment Act will be invoked in severe cases of cyberbullying.

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