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The problem of cyberbullying should have its own school subject - Principals

At both junior and senior cycle.

A DEDICATED CLASS on cyberbullying should be introduced at both junior and senior cycle according to a group representing school principals.

The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) made the proposal at today’s National Cyberbullying Conference in DCU.

The NAPD’s director Clive Byrne also said that more funding and training for school leaders is needed to help fight a problem that is growing year-on-year.

Research from the NAPD published in February showed that almost one in 10 students have said that they have cyberbullied another student.

“Parents want greater help with the problem of cyberbullying and look to schools and teachers to fill the information deficit which exists,” Clive Byrne said.

While the issue of cyberbullying has to be tackled in schools, homes and in the wider community, our schools have an important role to play, not least because of the amount of time which young people spend there.

N14224 Nick Bradshaw Nick Bradshaw

The NAPD want this additional help to come in the form of a a dedicated classroom module on cyberbullying as part of the curriculum at both junior and senior cycles.

The development of school guidelines was a theme at the conference which saw contributions from the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Geoffrey Shannon, Seán Kelly MEP with a discussion chaired by Mary Mitchell-O’Connor TD.

Shannon repeated his previously voiced view that legislation should be introduced to make cyberbullying a crime.

Read: A 13-year-old has figured out a way to stop cyber-bullying >

Column: What is the psychological impact of spending so much time in ‘cyberspace’? >

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