Stopping the cyber bullying
LOCAL parent and teacher Belinda Dendle believes we need to be united in taking on the "monster” that is cyber bullying.
Mrs Dendle was among the concerned parents, teachers and community leaders who came together to share their experiences and ideas on how best to tackle cyber bullying at the Emerald Anti-Cyberbullying Roundtable on Monday.
The Capricornia School of Distance Education teacher believes we need to take the collaborative approach to have any chance at tackling the issue.
"We didn't grow up with this internet dilemma, so we need to collaborate with other parents and be informed,” Mrs Dendle said.
"We need to know what this monster is.
"We need to be connecting with our children. While they are being educated in school about the dangers of cyber bullying, we need to be parallel learning so we can be united in numbers.
"At the Doin' it for Dolly Charity Rodeo we saw a lot of people desperately wanting to get together because we were all feeling the severities of this dilemma.”
She said it was important to tackle the issue of cyber bullying now because it was not going away, especially if we do nothing.
"It is snowballing and it is getting more and more power,” she said.
"There is no deterrent for the bullies, there is nothing for them to slow down.
"We need to understand the beast, understand how it works and equip ourselves and our children, because it is not going away.
"This is an urgent issue that has to be dealt with now and big time by the government.”
Marist College Emerald principal Mark Green said all schools had to come up with procedures to reduce incidents of cyber bullying.
"We need to be proactive and educate parents,” he said.
"A police officer recently told me a mobile phone is one of the most dangerous devices you can give to a teenager.
"We just hand them out to 12, 13 and 14-year-olds with very little training and I think we need to educate our young people about how to use the phones sensibly and be aware of the consequences when they do cyber bully and the laws that can impact.
"I'm hoping the Premier's Anti-Cyberbullying Task Force will come up with some resources to help schools and parents deal with this issue.”