Teach­ing how to be­have on­line

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPECIAL REPORT -

THOMAS Harding Ju­nior School,

has just taken part in Anti- Bul­ly­ing Week, a na­tional ini­tia­tive to make chil­dren aware of the harm that bul­ly­ing can do.

Part of this has in­volved ses­sions on the is­sue of cy­ber bul­ly­ing and how chil­dren should re­act if they feel that they are be­ing buil­lied on­line.

Head­teacher Jan Burgess said: “We do quite a lot on cy­ber bul­ly­ing with the chil­dren from year three up to year six. We talk about how to stay safe on­line, and how they should re­port any­thing that has up­set them which has been sent elec­tron­i­cally, whether that’s an email, a text mes­sage or some­thing on so­cial me­dia.

“We tell the chil­dren the im­por­tance of telling an adult if they are sent some­thing that they feel un­com­fort­able with, and we re­mind them that they are too young to be us­ing so­cial me­dia sites. We make sure that par­ents are aware of that as well.

“We want chil­dren to be aware of how to be­have on­line, and to be care­ful about photographs on their phones and who they send them to.”

Mrs Burgess says that the school aims to stop all types of bul­ly­ing be­fore it be­comes a prob­lem.

She said: “As a school we take pro­hib­i­tive ac­tion. The aim is to stop cy­ber bul­ly­ing be­fore it hap­pens, rather than to re­act after it does. We make sure that our staff know how to deal with the is­sues, and we want to make the chil­dren aware of how to be­have on­line and how to stay safe.”

She added: “We can’t mon­i­tor what the chil­dren do on­line out­side of school hours, but we en­cour­age par­ents to be vig­i­lant, and we will take ac­tion over any­thing which is re­ported to us which is in­ap­pro­pri­ate.”

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