Phil Prendergast, MEP, has welcomed Dr Geoffrey Shannon’s annual report on child protection, published recently.
Ms Prendergast said she spent a lot of time in the European Parliament recently, discussing cyber bullying with organisations like Facebook and BeatBullying. She added that online media are providing an entirely new outlet for bullies which has been ignored for too long.
“This deficiency in policy has to be dealt with, sooner rather than later. Cyber bullying is a significant cultural issue and it’s not going to go away without input and action from government.
“In the past, I have spoken with Dr Shannon and I fully agree with him that homophobic bullying should be a child protection issue, both in schools and online. Each school in this state should have a process and a policy to deal with emergent bullying, particularly given new methods and motives for torment.
“The reality is that bullying complaints must be investigated and dealt with properly. Our current problem is a lack of legal process for dealing with cyber bullying, and that has to change.”