Lately, reports of bullying at schools and via the internet, and the repercussions of these acts have been surfacing in the media quite often.
Gone are the days when a “bully” was typically the strongest or most aggressive boy at school, who as we grew older we learnt that they had significant problems for which they were compensating. Now we find that there are numerous ways that our children become victim to those who inflict emotional scaring that we now refer to as “cyber bullying”.
Many children are now within the target range of bullies whether by mobile phone SMS, or chat rooms and social websites such as Facebook. When the school bell rang at 3pm, the victim could feel somewhat at ease in the security of their home, and at this time it was more an issue for the School’s administration to deal with. Obviously the duty of care owed by the School cannot extend to the after hours private lives of our children.
No longer is lunch or the walk home from school the worrying time for victims, but the internet is obviously available 24/7 to bullies, who are comfortable in not having to face their victim, but can humiliate or threaten the victim to a much wider audience than previously available.
In the next article “Cyber-bully (Part 2), we will discuss what law there is to assist victims of cyber bullying.
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This is intended for general information and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought.