CHILDREN are being targeted ‘around the clock’ by cyberbullies, it has emerged in the aftermath of the death of a 15-year-natasha macbrydeold Midland schoolgirl.
CHILDREN are being targeted ‘around the clock’ by cyberbullies, it has emerged in the aftermath of the death of a 15-year-old Midland schoolgirl.
Natasha MacBryde, a year ten pupil at a private school, was killed by a train amid claims that bullies were to blame for her death.
National charity ChildLine spoke out saying cyberbullying is set to increase as young people find it easier to torment their victims by text and mobile phone at all hours with ‘no escape’.
Schoolgirl Natasha, described as a ‘charming, lovely and model pupil’, was struck near Bromsgrove railway station in the early hours of Monday morning. She lived in Warmstry Road, which is just a few steps away from the rail line.
Friends have claimed bullying is responsible for her death in tributes on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.
Her distraught dad Andrew, aged 47, who is separated from Natasha’s mother Catherine, aged 43, said he wasn’t shocked by the bullying allegations.
He said: ‘I have no idea why Natasha died. But I am not surprised there are messages on Facebook saying she was bullied. I have no idea what happened, that is what the British Transport Police want to find out.”
Natasha was a pupil at Royal Grammar School, Worcester.
ChildLine supervisor John Anderton, who is based in Birmingham, said that cyberbullying, in which children attack others by text, mobile phone, instant messaging or social networks, is on the rise.
The helpline receives more than 20,000 calls from young people about bullying each year.
“With cyberbullying there is no escape,” said Mr Anderton. “In the old days a child would be bullied between 9am-3pm and there could be incidents on the way to and from school. But once they were home there could be a respite from that.
“But with cyberbullying they can be receiving threatening messages when they are at home.”
The charity’s comments are backed by Robert Mullaney whose 15-year-old son Tom was found hanged after allegedly being abused on a social networking site.
“This problem is not going to go away,” said 48-year-old Mr Mullaney who, along with 43-year-old wife Tracy, has campaigned for greater security measures on social networking sites.
Tom was found hanged at the bottom of his family’s home in Bournville last May. His parents believe he snapped after a single incident of cyberbullying.