As many primary school students prepare to return to school this week, a Wexford-based publisher has developed a resource pack to help children, as well as their teachers and parents, to stamp out cyberbullying in their schools.
The primary education resource pack, called ‘Bullying in a Cyber World’ includes books aimed at four different age groups, as well as posters summing up the initiative’s key messages. There’s also an anti-bullying pledge to be signed by students, sample bullying reports for teachers and students to record complaints and internet safety checklists for both children and their parents and guardians.
This resource pack from Prim-Ed Publishing is said to be the first of its kind in Ireland and has been developed specifically for Irish primary schools. The materials target children as young as four and teaches them to cope with and report unacceptable online behaviour at school and in the wider community.
Schools need to be proactive
Marion Flanagan, an anti-bullying tutor with an MEd in aggression studies at TCD, recommends ‘Bullying in a Cyber World’ for use in all schools. “The best way to tackle this scourge is via the three-pronged approach: involving parents, schools and children themselves,” she says.
“Some schools are terrific and proactive and astounded by what is uncovered when I go in and children hand back their questionnaires. But others simply stick their heads in the sand. It’s time for us to act collectively before the tragedies which have struck several second-level schools are seen at primary level,” she adds.
Seamus McGuinness, managing director of Prim-Ed, explains what areas the resource pack covers. “Our series of resources for schools aims to help children grow into socially competent, empathetic adults who can cope with bullying and avoid becoming bullies themselves. Aspects covered in the series include: providing positive environments for children, building self-esteem and a sense of worth, building children’s self-resilience and developing a sense of empathy toward others.”