Know how to use your phone
THE headteacher of a secondary school has vowed to fight cyber bullying by working with her students.
Catherine Davies of Chalfonts Community College in Chalfont St Peter is refreshingly honest about the issue. She acknowledges that like everywhere else there is a cyber bullying problem at the school.
A recent ban against mobile phones outside designated break and lunch times has been received positively by parents, she says, and students are often relied upon to highlight the dangers of new smart home apps to teachers.
“Do we have an issue here in Chalfont St Peter?” Mrs Davies said. “Of course we do.
“As long as a child has a mobile phone, they are potentially a victim of bullying and it can have drastic consequences.
“Sometimes a highly serious problem can happen innocently. In my previous school, a year eight sent her boyfriend a risky picture but the next week they fell out and her image was distributed around the whole community with disastrous consequences.”
Mrs Davies says she supports the use of mobile phones – her own son brings one to school – but they must be used respectfully, such as when a student needs to call their parents.
The opportunity for bullies to post their abuse incognito online is a tough one to counter. The school tells students to ‘unfriend’ and block abusive contacts.
Mrs Davies added: “We are totally committed to helping when we can, even if issues happen out of school hours and will ask for copies of any material.
“It is important that students gather evidence and we will ensure that parents know what their children are doing online and the serious consequences if they persist.
“They can be issued with police warnings that remain on their record.”