14/03/2014

Large Number Of Galway Students Affected By Online Bullying - Survey

In the results of a survey conducted with 577 young people in Galway, Labour TD, Derek Nolan, and Labour MEP candidate for Midlands North-West, Senator Lorraine Higgins, have revealed that over two thirds of young people have been bullied, or know someone that has been bullied online.

Announcing the results at a seminar held in Galway last night, Derek Nolan said: "The results of this survey are further proof that online safety is a real and widespread problem, with more than seven young people in every 10 being bullied or know someone that has been bullied online.

"A specific policy targeted at this area could not come soon enough. The meeting last night allowed parents across the county the opportunity to shape new legislation being prepared by the government. It was also an opportunity to present and discuss the results of the survey which was conducted by Senator Higgins and me across the entire county."

The seminar was attended by parents, young people, teachers and youth organisations. Dr. Brian O'Neill, Chair of the Internet Content Governance Advisory Group and Brendan Smith, Education Outreach Officer, INSIGHT @ the Centre for Data Analytics, NUIG spoke at the event.

Senator Higgins added: "While the results of this survey show that a large number of students are affected by online bullying, the engagement by the students and the practical advice offered was extremely heartening. A total of 85% of those surveyed thought that cyberbullying is a major issue for young people at the moment. Furthermore, 80% of students did not think that enough was being done at the moment, which proves that government action is vital.

"I was pleased to see that some of the students surveyed had some really good ideas, such as encouraging positive usage of online media and educating students and parents more about the dangers of cyber bullying.

"We heard many good ideas from parents, teachers, young people and youth organisations."

(CD/IT)

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