Monday, May 08, 2017


MOTION: Councillor F. Timmons

”In regards to Cyberbullying and children , we ask SDCC

1) That SDCC look at what can be done in Libraries in all of SDCC to combat this growing and worrying issue. To ask that a campaign be looked at to deal with this issue that poses a serious threat to many children within our area. This should include all types of Social Media.

2) That SDCC write to the Minister for Children , Minister for Justice and Minister for Education and ask that they work together to combat this serious matter with both Legislation and an Education programme in our schools and Education campaign for Parents”


1) Libraries are aware of the dangers of Cyber bullying and have safeguards in place with regard to our public internet usage and Wifi in all our libraries. Advice for parents is available on the library website

However, parents need to be vigilant and need to monitor the Apps and websites that their children are accessing.

To help parents the library service will organise workshops next autumn. These workshops, facilitated by Barnardos, will last one hour plus time for questions. Parents will be offered an opportunity to consider how they can increase their child’s online safety and what to do if they suspect their child is experiencing cyber-bullying.

Parents will be provided with take home information that offers the most up to date information in relation to the apps their child may be using and associated safety considerations.

2) If the Motion is passed a letter will issue to the appropriate Ministers, and when a reply is received it will be issued to the Members.

My Response

One in five Irish children has been bullied online, according to research. Recent research Of the children who experienced cyberbullying, one third also reported feelings of depression related to the abuse. Its also very concerning the rising trends of children self harming.

The research shows gross inconsistencies between parents’ reporting of child cyberbullying, as only one in ten adults said their son or daughter had been a victim of cyberbullying.

According to the research, 51% of the online bullying happens to children on Facebook; some 14% said they had been bullied on Instagram.Approximately 29% of girls said they had been bullied on Snapchat, while 16% of boys reported being harassed on this platform.

These reports are despite all three social media platforms claiming to have robust reporting procedures in place to deal with this type of behaviour.

The bullying of women is more prevalent, with one in four reporting having been body-shamed online.

The online bullying related to numerous behaviours, with one third of people saying that someone had spread lies or rumours about them on the internet.

Some 18% of respondents said an embarrassing photograph of them had been posted online and 35% reported receiving threatening text messages or emails.

Almost two thirds of Irish teenagers described cyberbullying as being worse than face-to-face bullying while just over half said it was a bigger problem than drug abuse for young people.

People were also asked how they dealt with the harassment — “unfollowing” or “unfriending” was the main action taken that victims had taken.

One article quotes a childcare worker as saying “There are a number of factors that contribute to this, ranging from short-circuited early play stages to an immersion in a virtual and online world where nothing feels real.”  “What this means is that I see a photo you post of yourself online and I comment that you look like a troll. Then I log off and go about my life and I do not pause to consider that when you log on and read what I wrote that you will have an emotional response that I am, at least in part, responsible for.”

“As a result of decreasing empathy and reflective functioning we are seeing higher incidences of online bullying and lower self-esteem in this demographic than ever before.”

I have seen some messages that parents have been able to get screen shots of including ”Go Home and Kill yourself” and ”Drink a bottle of Bleach” all very harmful messages,

I am very happy with the response and urge SDCC to play a big part in an anti-cyberbullying campaign, I have a similar motion down at the last area meeting to urge this throughout SDCC and I ask that we write to ministers for education to roll out training in the schools and the Minister for Justice for a change in laws.