Sunday 20 October 2019

Any move that helps stem bullying is one to be saluted

CYBER-bullying is one of the great scourges of our modern age. The phenomenon has added an insidious and sinister dimension to something which has inflicted great suffering on generations of school pupils. At least victims of the old-fashioned school-yard and classroom bullies could sometimes take a little consolation from respite outside of school hours. They could also hope that their humiliations had a small audience within the confines of the school community.

But 24-hour, seven-day social media which never sleeps, and has a global reach, has put the kibosh on those scant consolations in many cases. Unfortunately, the arrival of the hi-tech bully has also offset the great progress which has been made by school authorities in tackling this issue.

We must accept that it is an extremely tall order to police cyberspace. But we cannot accept that these difficulties mean we stop looking for remedies. The grievous suffering of a significant minority of school pupils, for some of whom this has literally become a life and death issue, cannot be ignored.

The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals are to be congratulated for their dogged pursuit of this issue. We look forward to all internet agencies supporting their work. We also expect the Irish Government to seek EU-wide and more international remedies for this scourge, which does not respect national boundaries.

The second-level teachers have shown good example here – we look forward to all others doing their duty.

Online Editors

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