Do you think your child would ever send a naked selfie? Four in 10 under-25s have but most parents would refuse to believe it [MailOnline, by Caroline Mcguire, 18/09/2014]

Last month, stars including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay had personal naked images and videos splashed across the internet by an American hacker. 

But the very public embarrassment of these female celebrities has done nothing to curb the number of young people increasingly sharing nude selfies over text, email or the phone app Snapchat. 

A new survey shows that 38 per cent of 18-24 year olds have shared an inappropriate selfie. 

But parents are blissfully unaware of the current trend for x-rated snaps – in the same survey by My Voucher Codes, only 13 per cent of mothers and fathers across the UK believed their child would ever share a nude photo with friends or partners. 

The obvious reason for the lack of awareness among middle-aged men and women is that very few adults share naked pictures of themselves. 

In the same poll, only eight per cent of 45-54 year-olds admitted to taking a nude selfie, while the craze is even less prevalent in pensioners – only two per cent of those questioned who were aged 65 and over admitted to having a photo of themselves in the buff on their mobile phone.

The most enlightened parents in the UK appeared to come from Northern Ireland, with 25 per cent of those questioned believing that their child would take a naked picture – they were almost spot on as 26 per cent of 18-24 year olds revealed they had done so. 

Scottish young adults were the least likely to take their clothes off for a photo, with only 12 percent admitting to it, while the figure was 38 per cent in England.

These statistics show that parents are still unaware of their children’s behaviour online, despite repeated attempts by children’s charities over the last five years to warn mothers and fathers of the dangers of sexting.

The NSPCC warns that the practice is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 and by sending the image a child is liable to be prosecuted for producing and distributing child abuse images. 

They also advise that young girls or boys sending naked pictures are opening themselves up to the chance of blackmail and bullying

Children’s charity ChildLine warns that young people are taking huge risks by taking and sending the sexual images, and warned that some were being driven to the brink of suicide after the photos became widely shared.

One teenager, 17-year-old James, told the charity: ‘Sexting is pretty normal at my age. It seems like everyone’s doing it.’ 

James said he still engaged in sexting despite the dangers. 

‘I do worry about who is behind the phones of the people I sext with – obviously if you don’t know the person in real life there’s no guarantee they are who they say they are,’ he added.

ChildLine director, Peter Liver, said the rise of classroom sexting was linked, in part, to the widespread availability of porn online. 

Bullied Victims At Increased Risk Of Sleep Walking [Science World Report, by Kathleen Lees, 15/09/2014]

Statistics show that bullying is still very much a problem in the United States.
Now recent findings published in the journal Pediatrics reveal that among the other health concerns for bullied victims, including mental, emotional and physical trauma, those affected are more likely to have issues with sleep walking and suffer from nightmares.

“We found children who were bullied at age 8 or 10 years were more likely to have nightmares, night terrors, or sleepwalking at age 12 years. Moreover, those who were bullied and bullied others (bully/victims) were most likely to have any parasomnia,” said lead study author Dieter Wolke of Warwick Medical School and the Department of Psychology, in a news release. “Consistent with previous studies, being a female, having persistent sleep problems, and emotional and behavior problems in childhood additionally increased the risk for parasomnias at age 12 years.”

Researchers discovered that children who were bullied from ages eight through 10 were more likely to suffer from the aforementioned issues, particularly by the age of 12. Furthermore, being bullied was shown to increase the risk for numerous sleep disorders that can exacerbated by sleep problems.

Researchers concluded that prevention of bullying and education about classroom civility are key to preventing this and other health issues related to or directly caused by bullying.

“Nightmares may occur when anxiety exceeds a threshold level and several studies have suggested that trait anxiety may be related to the frequency of parasomnias. However, even after controlling for pre-existing anxiety problems our results showed that being bullied may increase the risk for parasomnias,” added co-study author Dr. Suzet Tanya Lereya from the University of Warwick.”If a child is experiencing frequent parasomnias, parents, teachers, school counselors, and clinicians may consider asking about bullying. This would allow detecting bullied children and providing the help they need at an early time to reduce the negative effects of being bullied.”

Cyber-bullies swamp teachers stealing valuable teaching time [Herald Sun, by Lauren Wilson, 14/09/2014]

Worrying new research shows Australian high schools are dealing with an average of 22 cyber-bullying incidents each year.

School principals and teachers are so swamped with cyber-bullying complaints they are losing hours of valuable teaching time each week.

The Federal Government is set to escalate its response to the growing problem, by tabling legislation to create a Children’s e-Safety Commissioner to Parliament before the end of the year.



Parliamentary Secretary for Communications Paul Fletcher has expressed concerns cyber-bullying is creating “a substantial new workload for principals and teachers”.

He said the problem was so bad, principals and teachers often spent Mondays intervening in a social media stoush that had erupted between students over the weekend.

“The physical safety of children in school grounds is traditionally the responsibility of schools, but what has happened is children are now communicating very extensively online and on social media, and those engagements within the school boundaries have gone well beyond school boundaries, and schools have been faced with a very big new responsibility,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Clearly, there is only a finite amount of time in the day; the time spent responding to cyber-bullying is time principals and teachers are not able to spend on the core business of educating kids.”

Matthew Keeley, director of the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre, who conducted research for the Federal Government, said about 463,000 Australian children were victims of cyber-bullying last year, and three-quarters of those were aged between 10 and 15. Mr Keeley said the ­majority of Australian schools reported dealing with a cyber- bullying case last year, and on average, high schools grappled with 22 incidents of cyber-bullying last year alone, with one in three of those cases being so serious they were ­referred to police.

“We are hearing that teachers are spending inordinate amounts of time managing these issues,” he said.

He said principals and teachers had to inform and
involve parents in the issue, counsel and mediate students, issue warnings about inappropriate online behaviour, facilitate class discussions, discipline students and liaise with police.

Bullying Behavior Transforms As Students Move From Elementary To Middle School; Cyberbullying Takes Over [Medical Daily, by Samantha Olson, 14/09/2014]

For students, bullying behaviors change and progress as they make the transition from elementary school to middle school. Researchers from the University of California, Riverside, studied the bullying behavior of students, whether it was verbal, physical, cyber, and compared them between English and non-English speakers. They published their findings in the journal School Psychology Quarterly.

“School-based interventions need to address the differences in perpetrator and victim experiences,” said the study’s coauthor Cixin Wang, an assistant professor at the university’s Graduate School of Education, in a press release. “The key is to use individualized specific interventions for bullying, not a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Researchers analyzed the victim and bullying behavior of 1,180 students in fifth to eighth grade over the course of three semesters in Midwestern schools in the United States. They wanted to see what types of students were being bullied and who was doing the bullying as the students aged. While previous studies had looked at a single age group over a period of time, Wang and her team decided to watch a group of students as they aged.

Cyber bullying increases as students age, particularly in girls. To no surprise, they found that overall, regardless of the age group, girls were more likely to experience verbal and cyber bullying than boys, while boys were more likely to be physically bullied. The researchers also found there was no difference between a student’s main language and how often they were bullied.

Older students were more likely to engage in bullying, which is why in-school and parental intervention between these ages, before they transition into middle school, should be the focus. Adults should be taught social-emotional learning skills to approach students in a healthy and effective way. Girls need to be the focus when it comes to a verbal lashing, whether in-person or online, while the focus on boys needs to be in a physical manner before they age into a vicious cycle.

Researchers suggest parents need to intervene, and monitor a child’s online presence to make sure they aren’t engaging in any type of bullying, as well as to make sure they aren’t the victims of bullying. Youth violence is believed to result in physical, emotional, social, and economic effects that tend to be harmful to the victim and bully alike. More than 700,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 sustain assaults from peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

National Conference addresses issue of cyberbullying [DCU – Dublin City University, 11/09/2014]

Bully4U and the Anti Bullying Centre at Dublin City University last week hosted Ireland’s first ever national cyberbullying conference, ‘Understanding and Managing Cyberbullying.’ The conference, which took place in Dublin Castle on Monday 1st September, included a range of child protection, social media and cyberbullying experts from Ireland and abroad who spoke and shared their knowledge on this growing social phenomenon.


A recent survey by the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals found 16 per cent of Irish students have experienced bullying online (a 33% increase on 2013).  The conference’s aim was to educate and empower parents, teachers and health professionals in providing support to victims and developing cyberbullying prevention and intervention strategies.  It also provided a forum for organisations working at the coalface with the effects of online bullying to share their experience in recognising, monitoring and preventing this type of communication.


The conference was officially opened by Seán Kelly, MEP for the Digital Agenda and the speaker line-up drew on a wide range of expertise and experience in the area of online bullying:


  • Mr Simon Milner, Director of Policy for UK, Middle East and Africa, Facebook

How best can we encourage people to be kinder online?  Evidence and experience from Facebook

  • Ms Patricia Cartes, Head of Gobal Safety Outreach, Public Policy at Twitter

Safety at Twitter: Overview of Twitter’s policies, procedures ad collaborations with experts to fight and prevent abuse on Twitter’s platform

  • Ms Carla Licciardello, UN International Communications Union

ITU Child Online Protection Focal Point

  • Dr. Helen Gleeson, Anna Freud Centre in London

Cyberbullying: How do we separate the truth from the myth?

Children and Internet Safety – some recent developments

  • Dr James O’Higgins  Norman, Director Anti-Bullying Centre at DCU

Giving Voice to the Online Experiences of Young People

  • Mr David Fagan, Health & Safety Law Expert, Business Legal Ltd

Don’t be taught a lesson.  Liability of schools and personal liability of teachers under health and safety law

  • Mr Clive Byrne, Director, national Association of Principals and Deputy Principals

Facing up to cyberbullying – the courage to act

  • Mr Kevin Deering, Senior Facilitator, Bully4u and Mr Colmon Noctor, Psychoanalytical Psychotherapist, St Patrick’s Adolescent Service, Dublin

The effects of cyberbullying on the mental health and importance of early interventions


There was much coverage of the event in national media over the past number of weeks, with RTÉ, Independent Newspapers, the Irish Times, Irish Examiner and many more outlets covering the conference:


The Herald:


The Journal:


Irish Examiner:

Call for up date to laws on cyber bullying [RTE News, 01/09/2014]

Speaking at the National Cyberbullying Conference, Geoffrey Shannon said the law needs to keep pace with technology and the current law in the area dates back to 1997.

Mr Shannon said a child-centred approach is required to tackle the issue.

He said along with the State, schools also have an obligation to be proactive in the area of preventing cyber bullying.

Addressing the same conference, Simon Milner, Policy Director for the UK, Middle East and Africa for Facebook, said with a community of 1.3bn people, some relationships go wrong, and there are some who want to harm others.

However, he said Facebook has clear policies about what is not allowed, tools to resolve cyber bullying issues and help if required at every stage of the process.

He said most allegations of cyber bullying on Facebook relate to photos, typically photos that someone does not like.

He said it was now possible for people to resolve problems with Facebook content quickly between themselves, and where matters cannot be resolved there are community operations to help.

He said there are also mechanisms for professionals to escalate issues if they are not being handled properly, although in response to a question he said it was not possible to have a mechanism for school principals to directly contact Facebook in urgent cases.

Mr Milner said the company was always trying to make it as simple as possible for people to know who they are sharing with.

Also speaking at the conference, Clive Byrne of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals said key measures are needed to tackle the cyber bullying problem, including a dedicated classroom module at junior and senior cycle.

He said an increase in funding to enable teachers and parents to be trained was also a priority, as well as the development of school guidelines for parents concerned about the problem.

The conference is organised by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at DCU and Bully4u.

How parents can prevent and deal with bullying [The Conversation, by Sheryl Hemphill, 07/09/2014]

Parents are one of the most influential factors when talking about bullying – in that they are the most likely to be able to prevent it. The way parents model appropriate interactions and communication to their children (for example, resolve disagreements, be assertive when appropriate) will impact on how their children interact with others – at school, online, or in the workplace.

In particular, children learn about interacting with others through their observations of others (for example how their parents treat one another and other family members). Parents should aim for an authoritative parenting style: one that includes showing love and care towards a child, gives a child an appropriate level of independence for their age, and also sets clear rules and consequences for inappropriate behaviour.

Parents can help children to develop empathy and learn to take the perspective of another by talking with their children about how others might feel when they behave in certain ways and how they feel given certain behaviours by others.

Providing children with opportunities to play with other children and learn how to do so in social ways under the supervision of parents, gives children the chance to practice interacting in socially acceptable ways from an early age.

But how can the parents know what goes on at school?

Despite our best efforts to prevent bullying, it may still occur and parents need to know what to do in situations where their child is bullying others or being bullied by others. Parents should be aware of signs that their children may be bullying someone. This comes down to knowing your child well and detecting changes in behaviour. This includes changes in demeanour, and more obvious signs such as acquisition of money or expensive possessions.

Alternatively, another parent, child, or school staff member may alert a parent that their child is bullying others. In situations where a child is bullying others, parents need to focus on the behaviour (and avoid labelling their child) as behaviours can be changed.

Important steps are for parents to find out from their child’s perspective what has been happening and why s/he may be bullying others. Parents also need to clearly explain that such behaviour is not acceptable and discuss with their children appropriate ways of behaving. In general, punishment is not effective because it does not teach the child alternative ways of behaving.

It is a good idea for parents to seek advice and help from others who may be able to assist the child to learn new ways of interacting as early as possible. Parents may like to talk with a trusted friend or family member, their GP, the school principal or welfare co-ordinator, or search for information from reliable sources on the internet such as the Raising Children Network and National Centre Against Bullying.

For parents who are concerned that their children are being bullied by others, communication with their children is crucial. Ensuring that there are open lines of communication makes it more likely a child will talk with a parent about being bullied. Parents should listen to their child’s experiences and then discuss possible solutions with him/her.

It is important that parents convey to their children that they are taking what the children say seriously, that bullying is not okay, and that there are solutions available. Consistent with the approaches mentioned for preventing bullying, parents need to ensure that any solutions explored are socially acceptable and do not escalate the situation (for example, fighting back).


Bullying using technology (or cyberbullying) presents new challenges for parents. Given rapidly changing technologies, it can be difficult for parents to keep up with how to use the technology their children are using. However, monitoring a child’s behaviour is an important way of ensuring that their behaviour does not get out of hand.

Monitoring that is focused on keeping children safe and ensuring acceptable behaviour is good parenting. Parents need to take an interest in the technology and sites their children are using. As for the offline environment, parents need to set ground rules for behaviour online. And just as parents teach children how to stay safe in the offline world (“don’t talk to strangers”, “look both ways when you cross the road”), children also need to learn how to stay safe in the online world for situations when parents are not present.

A really important message for all parents is that as children grow up and enter adolescence and early adulthood, they still need and value their parents – although it may not always seem to be the case! It is therefore important that children, regardless of their age, can access their parents when situations such as being bullied or bullying others arise and know that they can rely on their parents to help them to resolve the situation.

Finally, parents should not be expected to handle bullying on their own – they may need to work with their children’s friends and their parents, the school, a social networking site, or seek assistance from appropriate support and health services.

DCU seeks public’s help to tackle ‘subtle’ cyberbullying [Irish Examiner, By Sarah Slater, 08/09/2014]

Researchers, however, need the help of the public to develop the new system known as Uonevu — Swahili for bullying.

The majority of bullying behaviour online involves implicit and metaphorical use of language, often including negative stereotypes. This is much more difficult to detect than explicitly offensive language and content using profanities or other obviously derogatory words.

The collected information will be used to build an anti-cyberbullying system capable of automatically identifying subtle, non-explicit forms of bullying language that is widespread online but which is typically difficult to detect.

Dr James Norman O’Higgins, director Anti-Bullying Centre at DCU said 53% of young people surveyed by them have been upset by cyberbullying.

The study was carried out on a group of 2,700 students aged between 12 and 16 late last year.

Language used by some young adolescent girls the study found includes; slapper, slut, go kill yourself, and go cut yourself with glass.

This new system, developed by the Centre for Global Intelligent Content, can then be used across multiple languages and social media channels.

The research is backed by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at DCU.

It enables the public to contribute social stereotypes or language such as “blondes are stupid” or “French people are arrogant” via

Dr Johannes Leveling, project leader at DCU, explained: “Cyberbullying is a complex social problem that requires equally complex technology solutions to combat it.

“As a first step, we’re seeking to leverage crowdsourcing or ‘people power’ to enable us to quickly build a body of stereotypes (subtle language used).

“We can then use those stereotypes to train systems to automatically recognise more negative stereotypes and detect subtle, non-literal forms of bullying.”

Mr Leveling pointed out that traditional approaches to cyberbullying prevention have used a blacklist to filter and block words or phrases that are unequivocally offensive.

“Subtle forms of bullying and harassment, while widespread and equally damaging, are much more difficult for computer systems to identify.

“For example, a Facebook post that asks, ‘are you wearing your blouse today?’ does not contain anything that would traditionally be tagged as offensive. However, to a 15-year-old boy receiving the message, this post could imply that he is effeminate or gay. It is this subtle form of bullying that Centre for Global Intelligent Content researchers are aiming to detect,” he added.

20% of LGBT Students Bullied in the United Kingdom Attempt Suicide [PRWeb, 09/09/2014]

In a survey spanning schools in the United Kingdom and European schools, it has been found that there is a direct relation between homophobic bullying and mental health. LBGT bullying has such an effect on students to the extent that almost 20% of LGBT bullied students surveyed have attempted suicide at least once. NoBullying discovers the how and why of LGBT bullying in an article released today.

In the survey, published in 2009 by Mayock, al, it was discovered that 50% of those LGBT people surveyed (all under the age of 25) had experienced bullying in school. 27% of the respondents had tried self harm at least once and more than 50% had serious suicidal thoughts.

Same survey points out to the fact that 27% of respondents were “outed” and 33% said they attempted suicide at least once.

The article also notes that in the same survey, the students admitted to having struggles when it comes to concentration and around 13% decided on changing schools or resorted to homeschooling.

If this survey is an indicator of the state of homophobic bullying in schools, it means that half of the LGBT student body in the UK is facing homophobic bullying. Around two in five gay students who experience homophobic bullying think about suicide as a direct consequence.

When young people tell an authority figure about their bullying incidents, in most cases, it does nothing to stop the bullying but makes it escalate.

One student’s direct quote while being surveyed reads, “I was knocked unconscious with a thrown calculator (at my face) in math’s class once. The teacher did nothing.”

Homophobic bullying or sexual orientation bullying is bullying executed by people who do not agree with the individual’s sexual preference. Homophobic bullying is also referred to as gay bullying or gay bashing.

Homophobic bullying happens sometimes because people are afraid of what they do not understand. Someone is “different”, a lot of people in society do not want to accept him/her since they do not fit in. Because of this, someone might not want to be seen with a person who is a homosexual.

It is true there are numerous laws that work on abolishing bullying and violence worldwide. However, since homophobia exists in some cultures, homophobic bullying remains a dark negative side of school lives all over the world. A side everyone refuses to look at.

Ciaran Connolly, Co-Founder of, said “If some LGBT students are being bullied to the extent of attempting suicide at least once. What more could incite us to end homophobic bullying in schools?”

He added that parents and teachers should make a point to educate the younger generations about the sad outcome of bullying online and offline. According to Connolly, it is quite imperative to press for more firm laws condemning all acts of bullying and harassment. is a complete resource center that features many information posts dedicated to parents, teens, teachers, health professionals as well as posts related to cyber safety and the latest news about law making concerning curbing bullying worldwide as well as inspirational bullying poems and famous bullying quotes.

The website regularly updates its bullying statistics and cyber bullying statistics as it is essential to understand how widespread the bullying epidemic is. It also regularly runs cyber bullying surveys and questionnaires to get recent updated statistics on everything related to cyberbullying.

He also added that anyone suffering from bullying in any form or way can always find advice and help on the NoBullying website – but if anyone is suffering from severe bullying or cyber bullying, the best thing is to talk to someone locally – a parent, teacher or local organization that has been set up to help with specialized councilors to deal with this topic.

How dangerous is ‘sexting?’ [KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 Reporter, by Natalie Brunell, 09/09/2014]

“Inappropriate text messages that are being sent to students by a student,” said Deputy Armando Munoz, public information officer for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Last week authorities confiscated the phones of several students, including members of the Varsity football team.

Students told us the phones haven’t been returned yet, and that the photo in question was of a nude student, a girl under the age of 18.

“this was brought to our attention because it was sent, I believe, to several students,” Munoz said.

In California, it’s illegal to possess a sexually explicit image of a minor, meaning you don’t have to distribute the photo to be charged with a serious crime.

“It can range from misdemeanor to felony, possibly child pornography and having to register as a possible sex offender,” Munoz said.

So why do more and more young people ‘sext’? Some think their photos are safe if they use an app that sends pictures that self-destruct, which students tell us was involved in this case.

A photo or video may only live a few seconds on apps like Snapchat, but if someone screen grabs it, it can live forever on their device or on the internet.

“Look what’s going on with the famous people and hacking and think about the humility you can suffer,” Munoz said, referring to the recent celebrity hack of iCloud that resulted in the leak of hundreds of scandalous photos.

Sheriff’s deputies advise parents to download phone-monitoring apps on their children’s phones and check their activity often.

One app, called SentTell, will notify parents whenever photos are taken or sent using their children’s camera phone. There’s also a software called mSpy, which at $40 a month allows parents to see what their children are sending on Snapchat.

The best advice for teens: think twice before you take a compromising photo.

“Whether it be school or a job, it can affect your future long-term,” Munoz said.