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Victims of cyberbullying to receive support in the Highlands

14th November 2009

Guidance on tackling bullying via the Internet and mobile phones is soon to be distributed to all staff in education, culture and sport establishments throughout The Highland Council's area.

Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of the Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee said: "Members have given their full endorsement to new Cyberbullying Guidance which was created by a multi-agency/organisation working group. I was particulary pleased to be part of the working group that led up to the new guidelines. We want everyone pupils, parents and staff to be aware of how to handle siuations that can arise from new technology. I have recommended that these new guidlines are sent to all sections of Highland council to be adapted as necessary for individual departments"

The working group consulted widely with the Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers (LNCT), the Council's E-Safety Strategy Group, parents and teachers of primary and secondary schools; Northern Constabulary and NHS Highland; the Council's Legal Service and Education, Culture and Sport Service Officers; and the voluntary sector.

Report author, Louise Jones, Health Promoting Schools Manager informed members that advice on the draft version of the guidance was also sought from the national anti-bullying organisation 'Respectme'. She stated that: "Respectme are unaware of any other authority in Scotland which has developed support for professionals with the unique issues which cyberbullying can present, and that Respectme congratulated Highland Council on its approach to this issue."

The Cyberbullying Guidance will support Education, Culture and Sport staff who have to deal with children and young people who may be on the receiving end of cyberbullying. The guidance will also enable staff to learn how to avoid cyberbullying.

Louise Jones added: "Cyberbullying can have devastating impacts on the victims, some of which have been our own staff in recent times through teacher rating websites. The guidance will also help staff who they themselves have been on the receiving end of cyberbullying."

The guidance covers; an explanation of what constitutes cyberbullying; the Laws concerned; preventing, responding and investigating cyberbullying and how to work with the person displaying cyberbullying behaviour.

Further information on cyberbullying and e-safety can be found on www.highlandesafety.wordpress.com or by contacting Louise Jones on tel: 01463 702066.

A copy of the Cyberbullying Guidance is on the Council's website at www.highland.gov.uk
http://www.highland.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/34C9BD72-E8AE-49B1-BF57-EC00A416A436/0/Item9ECS5309.pdf

 

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