Online limits for children are vital
The Joint Managerial Body (JMB) which represents more than 400 second-level schools, almost two-thirds of the total, has issued new guidelines on cyber-bullying, the shocking practice that has brought such tragic results in recent times.
Other management bodies are planning to revise their guidelines on student and staff behaviour. Like the JMB, they will not confine them to online bullying but will put them in the wider behavioural context. Meanwhile, an expert group appointed by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn is working on new rules on all forms of bullying.
These initiatives are very welcome, and very necessary. Certainty about the causes of the deaths, which have had a devastating effect on families and whole communities, will have to await investigation, but in some cases online bullying certainly constituted a major factor.