Cyberbullying affecting kids as young as first and second class

Cyberbullying affecting kids as young as first and second class

Digital experts are warning that cyberbullying is increasingly affecting a younger age group.

This comes as campaigners are calling on the government to make digital safety classes compulsory from primary school.

The current Social, Personal and Health Education curriculum was developed almost 20 years ago, in 1999.

Kyle Petrie, the founder of eSafety, which provides education on digital usage, says the age groups taking to the internet are getting younger and younger.

"I'd say 95% of our work is in primary schools," he said.

"We started off ten years ago working in secondary schools and, as the internet usage age has dropped dramatically over the last few years, we're doing seminars for kids as young as first and second class now.

"So at a much younger age it's becoming more of an issue."

Mr Petrie adds that it's not just the children that need to be taught online safety.

"There's a big digital divide from digital natives, who are the young kids growing up with technology and the internet, and the parent generation and teachers, who have grown up not knowing the internet as a constant.

"There needs to be a solid training base there to facilitate that.

"We see it all the time, we're brought in after incidents and the teachers are constantly playing catch-up because what's popular this week won't be popular next week."

Digital Desk

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