Wednesday 17 January 2018

Cyber-bullying should be a crime – report

CYBER-bullying would be made a criminal offence under proposals in a new report being delivered to the Government.

Dr Geoffrey Shannon, the special rapporteur on child protection, notes that there have been few prosecutions in relation to harassment or bullying via email or text message.

But there has been a series of high-profile deaths linked to cyber-bullying including those of teenage sisters Erin and Shannon Gallagher last year.

Dr Shannon wants a tightening of the law in relation to children across several areas, ranging from cyber-bullying to custody and guardianship issues.

In relation to bullying, the report to be delivered this week questions whether there is a reluctance to investigate complaints.

The privacy of victims will be a paramount consideration in any new legislation.

Schools must take a lead in the matter and introduce a strong ethical code in relation to this type of bullying. The report also tackles the issue of homophobic bullying in schools.

Irish Independent

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