Every parent needs to read this very harrowing article. Every family needs to sit down and seriously discuss the issues of cyber-bullying with their children. You can’t ignore the potential of cyber-bullying. Cyber-bulling comes into your home – but only if you invite it.
At Michaela we have a zero tolerance approach to bullying, whether it be physical, verbal or on-line. We teach pupils to work hard and be kind. That’s what being at Michaela is all about. But we, as teachers, can only do so much. We need every single parent to be vigilant, we need every single parent to take their responsibility, in terms of preventing cyber-bullying, very seriously indeed.
Social networking can be addictive, massively time-consuming and, quite frankly, vicious. That’s why we insist that every single Michaela parent monitors their child’s use of the Internet very closely. No Michaela pupil should ever have more than two hours per day of screen time, be that TV, Internet, games consoles, texting or any form of social networking. It’s simply too easy to send a message or a photo in the heat of the moment that one might later regret.
By far the easiest way to keep your child safe, happy and free from bullying, is to restrict and monitor their screen time and to simply ban them from social networking sites. Rather than fritter time away on social networking, or playing computer games, encourage your child to take up a sport or other character-building pastime. And remember too our message at Michaela – ‘the more we read, the more we know.’
Through firm but fair discipline and a 100% ban on mobile phones we will keep your child safe at school but, to keep your child safe when s/he is not at school, every single parent must monitor their child’s Internet usage and texting. As the adults in their lives we need to protect them through clear parameters consistently applied – there is no other way. One day they’ll thank you for it.
Our advice is:
- No child should have access to a Facebook account
- Families must discuss, be vigilant, and if necessary, ban their children from using, social network sites.
- Let’s encourage our children to have healthy hobbies, to read, to sit with us around the dinner table in discussion and to watch the news with us – together as a family.
- Let’s not allow our children to become isolated, obsessed by social networking, texting, computer games – activities that isolate and break the family connection.
Click here to view a short video that demonstrates what cyber-bullying is, and how you can deal with it.
As teachers, we’ll do our bit, but pupils, parents, teachers, we must work as a team.