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PM speaks out against cyber-bullying among students

PM speaks out against  cyber-bullying among students


Cyber-bullying has surfaced in some schools and warrants firm, but sensitive attention, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said at a press conference Wednesday.{{more}}

Cyber-bullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies — including cellular phones — to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.

Gonsalves said Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel had alerted him to the problem.

He, however, said he would not disclose the names of the schools where the problem has occurred.

He said students, particularly secondary school students, had a lot of interaction on social networks, such as Facebook.

The prime minister said he was calling for help from the media, parents, teachers and parent teachers’ associations and all students to deal with the issue.

He said he also wants students to appreciate that they should not use social network sites to bully their colleagues or drive fear into them.

“I am asking those engaged not to be engaged and not to be so cruel,” Gonsalves said.

“We have so many challenges already on some disciplinary issues,” the prime minister continued.

He explained that cyber-bullying exists in the more developed countries and it was only a matter of time before it reached St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The authorities have to deal with the problem in a focused manner among the groups involved, the prime minister said.

“We have to try to stop this,” he said.

Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, said research has demonstrated a number of serious consequences of cyber-bullying victimization. For example, victims have lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of emotional responses, retaliating, being scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed,” Wikipedia added.

One of the most damaging effects is that a victim begins to avoid friends and activities, often the very intention of the cyber-bully, Wikipedia further stated. (DD)