The latest statistics from the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner highlight that cyber bullying is a serious issue in our community.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is deeply concerned about these quarterly statistics, which indicate a 75 per cent rise in reports of cyber bullying between July and September 2016 – when compared with the same period in 2015.
The Foundation, one of the few accredited school and children’s cyber safety training providers, runs the influential eSmart framework, which helps schools and libraries develop holistic and practical strategies to reduce and address cyber bullying in the community.
eSmart Schools is presently in more than 2,300 schools and almost half of Australian public libraries are using eSmart Libraries, while more than 200,000 students are using the interactive eSmart Digital Licence.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said the reports of such a significant rise in reports to the Office as well as recent media reports of cyber bullying and sexting showed that there was a great need for more support on this issue.
Ms Podesta also said eSmart staff regularly fielded concerns from parents and teachers about the incidence and bullying online.
“We cannot be complacent or put our head in the sand. Our children live much of their lives online. Cyber bullying has significant impacts on children and we need a combined approach with parents and schools,” Ms Podesta said.
“If cyber bullying is going to decrease we need to ensure that eSmart can help shape the minds and of every young person across Australia.”
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation Senior Advisor Cybersafety Jeremy Blackman said the prevalence of cyber bullying has remained fairly high during the past decade.
“We work closely with the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner because we know that a combined effort is required to reduce cyberbullying in our community.” Mr Blackman said.
Mr Blackman said anyone looking for more information about strategies to reduce and prevent cyber bullying can contact the Foundation or the Office.
Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 0416 045 701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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