Sunday, September 23, 2007

On Friday new bullying guidance was published by the Government. This is how Newsround reported it at 5.25pm on BBC1 -

Sonali: Beating the cyberbullies - Schools are urged to do more to protect you. ... First to a big problem for many of you - cyberbullying. Lots of children are having their lives made a misery by hi-tech bullies, and today the Government said schools should do more to tackle the problem. Teachers are going to be given advice on how to stop it. Here's Adam with more.

Adam: Thank you Sonali. So what is cyberbullying? Well it's anything nasty that's sent to you on your mobile. It could be cruel comments while you're on Instant Messenger. Or it could be vicious videos of you that are posted on websites. The Government also says that if you log on and check out people being bullied online, then you're making the problem even worse....

Adam: Well the Government has released a special video that's going to be sent to your school. And they're going to be telling teachers to do more and have a school policy to sort out problems with cyberbullying. Now earlier on today I got the Government to email me over some tips about what you should do if you're a victim of cyberbullying.

1} Don't reply to any nasty messages.
2} Keep all the messages so that someone can help you out.
3} Tell someone - let a parent or teacher know as soon as possible.
4} Keep all passwords secret.
5} Don't give out any personal information (like birthday, phone number or address)

Then, later in the programme we saw a clip from the DCSF video which is being sent to schools along with guidelines for teachers. We saw Ed Balls ("the top politician who's in charge of looking out for kids") say:-

Every child should be able to go to school and travel home free from bullying of any kind. And we have new challenges with the internet and mobile phones which we also need to address. Our guidance will help parents and schools, and young people themselves, face up to this problem and stamp it out once and for all.

On the DCSF Government website Ed Balls points out that teachers often feel ill-equipped to address homophobic bullying, and that bullied pupils are uncomfortable about reporting the problem. "Homophobic insults," he says, "should be viewed as seriously as racism. We must uphold every child’s basic right to learn in a safe and secure environment, free from bullying."

I understood that they might possibly feature a presspacker from an lgbt family covering a suitable newsworthy story, but Newsround failed to report the guidance dealing with homophobic bullying for primary and secondary school teachers. It wasn't reported on Newsround's website either, so I will write to them tomorrow to find out why it wasn't covered.

There is also Stand up for us which was announced during Anti-bullying week 2004.

No comments: