Home' Independence : Independence Vol 31 No 2 Nov 2006 Contents The following report on Cyber Bullying
features in the May 2006 (Edition 220) of
Small Screen, a regular publication of Young
Media Australia. It is reproduced here with
permission of YMA.
The Australian National Coalition Against
Bullying, in conjunction with teen magazine
Girlfriend, conducted a national survey, which
canvassed the experiences of 13,300 readers,
mostly young girls aged between 12 and 15, and
found cyber bullying is rampant.
Forty-two per cent said they have either been
harassed, intimidated or denigrated while online
or through mobile phone text messaging.
Melbourne-based adolescent psychologist Michael
Carr-Gregg, who conducted the survey, said
parents and schools were being kept in the dark
about what is going on, with nearly half of the
girls saying they would not report an incident
either at school or to their parents.
Dr Carr-Gregg, the national spokesman for the
Coalition and also a columnist for Pacific, said
it was the biggest study of its type in the world
and he was staggered by the findings. He is
calling for a nationwide ban of mobile phone use
by teenagers after 10pm. "I'm suggesting we
make it a rule in all households across Australia
that at 10pm the phones go on a mobile phone
charging table and they don't budge until the next
morning," he said.
Source: The Australian 20 April, 2006
Brian Eckermann, Principal of Faith Lutheran
School in Tanunda SA, is AHISA's representative
on Young Media Australia's Executive, as well
as being the South Australian representative to
the national AHISA Social Issues Committee.
For very helpful information and advice on
numerous media matters, he encourages all AHISA
schools to become a member of Young Media
Australia for a low $75 p.a. and receive copies
of Small Screen as part of your subscription.
Visit www.youngmedia.org.au for more details.
The Internet provides the perfect forum for
cyber bullies, individuals whose aim is to
gain gratification from the distress caused by
provoking and tormenting others.
His life at school has been hell. He was teased,
taunted and punched for years.
But the final blow was the humiliation he
suffered every time he logged onto the
Internet. Someone had set up an abusive Web
site about him that made life unbearable.
Dr Anne Bamford, UTS, AHISA NSW/ACT
Branch Meeting 2004
What are some of the ways that our schools can
diminish the incidence of Cyber Bullying? The
following are provided as discussion starters. More
specific information can be found on the websites
at the conclusion of this article.
For School Staff:
4 discuss the ethical basis to mature student
decision-making when students use mobile
phones and the internet for communication
4 teach the protocols of when and how
communication devices can be used safely and
legally at school and at home
4 model the above protocols in their own life-
style, at school, home and in the community
4 never send a negative email message to
another person while you are upset or
stressed. If you do write such a message
wait a while (an hour or two, or overnight)
before either sending the message (or
an updated or amended version of it) or
4 before you become involved in sending
negative and hurtful messages to other
students think of whether you would like to
receive this type of message
4 do not visit or use chat rooms, blogs and
similar links when they are communicating
negative and hurtful messages
4 be willing to accept the consequences at home
or school if you break the agreed protocols on
4 never send a negative or hurtful message to
another person, until you have waited for at
least an hour or two, or preferably overnight
4 establish an agreed protocol to not use your
mobile phone, computer and similar devices
between late evening and early the next
morning (e.g. no use between 10.30pm
This time is very important for your health to be
a sleeping period.
4 agree with your child that at a certain hour
each night (e.g. 10.30 pm) the child is to have
no access to a mobile phone, computer with
internet access or similar devices
4 know your child's email addresses, passwords
and user names
social issues DIGEST NOVEMBER 2006
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