Irish children are working on a campaign to irradicate cell phone bullying.
Having been deeply touched by the tragic suicide of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince in January, 140 Irish schoolchildren are taking part in a project that highlights the dangers of bullying and how cell phones can be used.
“I was delighted to hear these young people have a keen interest in tackling phone bullying. So many of our young people now are exposed to mobile phones, the Internet and social networking sites. It's crucial the Government moves to tackle all forms of bullying but particularly cyber-bullying," said Local Fianna Fail senator, Martin Brady.
Last year, 400 Irish parents complained to the Department of Education about schoolyard intimidation. Shockingly there is now procedure set up within the Department to deal with such complaints. Bullying in Ireland is pushing dozens of Irish children to the verge of suicide.
A group who counsels troubled teens in Ireland said that they don’t want to touch the problem, although the Evening Herald reported that an elementary school teacher in Dublin told them that “children as young as eight are sending abusive texts and posting hurtful comments."
It was only when County Clare born, 15-year-old, Phoebe Prince committed suicide this January that the topic of cell phone or cyber-abuse being used as a bullying tactic became a major topic of conversation.
Phoebe was harassed for months via text messages, phone calls and through Internet sites. Six students from South Hadley High School are facing serious charged with relation to her death. They could serve up to ten years each for their crimes.
Other institutions are also trying to use the terrible tragedy of Prince’s suicide to educate.
The University of California-Berkeley’s School of Public Health has set up a scholarship in Phoebe’s name. They will fund graduate students who are studying mental and physical health promotion and disease prevention among teens.
The hope is that these studies might prevent similar tragedies taking place.