It’s sad to see that bullying is such an issue in society. It’s something that I haven’t thought about in a while but recently the issue is being discussed extensively in the media. The Annual Bullying Survey found that nearly half of young people have experienced bullying. As if it wasn’t hard enough to prevent, the internet has opened up a whole new platform where bullying can take place. We have seen new terms like ‘trolls’ and ‘cyberbully’ making more of an appearance in the news but where do we draw the line between a nasty fly comment and harassment?
Currently there is no federal anti-bullying law which then means that the punishment is left to the schools; a problem with this is that 39% of young people do not tell anyone that they are being bullied. Unfortunately The Annual Bullying Survey Department for Education suggested that 51% do not feel satisfied with the bullying support they get from teachers. Channel 4 News discussed The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors last week; the programme started receiving funding in April 2013 by the Department for Education and is aiming to give people the skill, knowledge and confidence to tackle bullying. The programme is doing well and has visited 900 schools in the UK, this is a step forward for an issue that has never been eradicated.
Where are we going wrong? People can be cruel and no one should ever have to feel different and isolated from everyone else. It is not fair for anyone to feel like that, to feel anxious and too worried to go to school. Is this something that should be taught in schools? It is touched upon lightly but because it is normal for children to fight and argue it is difficult to determine when it turns into bullying.
Over a week ago, Channel 4 aired a drama called Cyberbully. If you haven’t seen it already I would highly recommend it; it is shocking and scary to see the power of the internet. It covers nasty messages and comments on videos and Twitter to hacking accounts and leaking photos that are not meant to be seen. The drama shows the consequences of all the people involved and the harsh reality that many people have had to go through.
This week BBC Radio 1 dedicated special programmes to talking about negativity online. They interviewed Cyberbully actress Maisie Williams as well as Vloggers sharing their experiences online and why they think it happens. They discussed tactics of how to deal with it and to remember that these people are doing it to get attention.
Last year Katie Hopkins was interviewed by Sky News about her opinion on Twitter trolls; “If you do not like it get off Twitter” Hopkins said of the nasty comments that circulate on the social media platfrom. Although I can see where she is coming from, we are living in a modern society where social media is very important in our lives and it is not that simple, especially to a child. We can’t tell someone to not troll or bully online but we need to be made aware of the effect it can have on someone. I believe it is something schools need to tackle and talk about rather than tiptoeing around the subject. No one should ever feel like they have nowhere to turn.
By Britt King