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Regional schools can work together against cyberbullying

Minister for Regional Communications, Senator Bridget McKenzie, is encouraging regional schools to get involved in the Office of the e-Safety Commissioner’s virtual classrooms to empower students and teachers to work together against cyberbullying.

The initiative, which is part of the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, teaches young people practical strategies on preventing, managing and reporting cyberbullying.

Minister McKenzie said the National Day of Action is the perfect opportunity for regional schools to speak to young people about the benefits of being online and also the impact of cyberbullying.

“Being more connected has made a huge difference to students living in regional areas. It’s much easier for them to research their homework and connect with their peers. Some students even take their classes online.

“However, these online spaces can very quickly become unsafe. We need young people to be aware of the dangers and how to manage them,” Minister McKenzie said.

“We know from a Sensis report last year that, compared to people living in cities, regional Australians are more likely to have witnessed bullying or harassment on social media and are more than twice as likely to be bullied online.

“I strongly encourage rural and regional schools to register for the Office of the eSafety Commissioner’s free virtual classroom sessions which are designed for students and teachers to work through issues together.

“We all need to stand up and teach young people strategies to feel more in control and safer online without fear of bullying and harassment.”

The free virtual classrooms are being delivered throughout March. More information can be found at: www.esafety.gov.au/education-resources/outreach/virtual-classrooms

Free resources for students, parents and communities on how to tackle bullying are available at: www.bullyingnoway.gov.au

More resources from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner about how to navigate safely online and tackle cyberbullying or to report cyber bullying visit: www.esafety.gov.au.

Media Contact:

Kate Woodbridge: 0409 679 924 or Sally-Anne Kahl: 0427 604 56