VIDEO Fine parents of children who cyberbully- counsellor [Irish Indipendent, 02/09/2014]

Kevin Deering, senior facilitator with Bully4u, said he would welcome “some form” of financial penalty being introduced.

He stressed that its main focus should be to curb the “insidious” nature of cyberbullying.

Mr Deering, a counsellor and a retired garda with over 30 years service, said the scale of the problem was such that “severe sanctions” for repeat offenders were required.

He suggested the introduction of financial penalties would “focus the minds” of those pupils and parents who refuse to meaningfully engage with school authorities.

He proposed penalties of between €50 and €100.

“You have to up the ante with reoffenders; somebody has to take responsibility,” he told the Irish Independent.

He said the long-term effects of cyberbullying on mental health must be considered.

“It’s about learning from behaviour – if somebody doesn’t learn, there has to be sanctions. Parents are responsible for their children if they’re under 18 so educating the parents is crucial,” Mr Deering added.