0370 270 6000

Axe the 'chat'?

4 November 2013

A recent research article reports that whilst online chatrooms can support and connect young people who are isolated in society, there remains a strong link between internet forums and an increased risk of suicide.

The problem is that the balance between the positive and negative impact of chatrooms is off-kilter. Every positive example of the internet encouraging people to seek help is overshadowed by examples of cyber-bullying and the exchange of suicide content, violent imagery and methods of self-harm. Young, isolated and vulnerable people are of course more susceptible to these negative influences.

Cyberbullying led to highly publicised suicides this year putting pressure on site owners to take more responsibility for posted content. Schools have an important role to play in applying robust anti-bullying policies and voicing any safeguarding concerns; educating young people and encouraging them to speak out can only go so far. Monitoring young people’s use of chatrooms is key, but is no easy task.

Related opinions

Judicial Review of school exclusion reconsideration dismissed on all grounds

The recent case of R (on the application of A Parent) v Governing Body of XYZ School [2022] EWHC 1146 (Admin) provides some welcome and reassuring guidance to governing boards on the exclusion reconsideration process.

View blog

60 seconds with… Emma Hughes

With 19 HR experts now supporting over 500 schools and trusts across the country, in this edition of 60 seconds we sit down with Emma Hughes, who leads the team, to discuss what this significant milestone means to her.

View blog

Fines for unsafe removal of asbestos in schools

In order to reduce the risk of potential breaches, schools should follow this Health and Safety Executive guidance.

View blog

Asbestos: Still the UK’s number one occupational killer

A ResPublica report highlighted that asbestos continues to be the UK’s number one occupational killer, with nurses and teachers 3 to 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general UK population. The House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee is investigating how the HSE manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up