Cyberbullying: Are we STILL getting it wrong?

In the past week, there have been two newspaper articles, one from the BBC and one from the Guardian, that have caught my eye, both of which relate to the important issue of cyberbullying amongst young people.

To summarise, as well as stating some recent high profile cases of cyberbullying, the BBC article states that, according to Conservative MP Graham Stuart schools are not doing enough to tackle the issue. He makes some predictably concerned-sounding noises about encouraging schools to ‘do more’ but it was these very depressing statistics from a September 2014 YouGov poll of 700 teachers that really caught my eye:

‘Over 40% of teachers said they had never taught e-safety’

‘A third said they’d feel out of their depth tackling it in class’

What? Really? That’s a lot of teachers nationally, if we can use the poll to reliably predict the trend.

Interestingly, the Guardian article provides little in the way of comfort. Amongst many other worrying statistics, it claims that according to a recent poll of 11-17 year olds by internet security firm McAfee:

‘35% of children have experienced cyberbullying’ (compared with 16% last year)

‘67% of parents allow their children access to the internet without supervision’

‘37% of children reported spending up to 10 hours a day on Snapchat’

So, teachers aren’t adequately teaching children about e-safety. Nor are parents. More children than ever are being cyberbullied and using social networks. The future doesn’t look so bright, does it?

How does this compare with your experiences as a student, an educator, a parent? How can we engage those schools and parents who are failing to prepare young people for the dangers of the online world?

To book an e-safety health check for your school or organisation, contact me using the details here.