If you follow the weekly blog written by our Heads of Site here, you will be aware that there was an isolated incident of cyberbullying over the Christmas holidays. We have been heartened by the response from our young people, in particular our retiring head boy, Matthew, and this year’s head boy, Jack, who have felt empowered enough to put their feelings in writing and have asked to share their thoughts with you here…
We’d like to welcome you all back, we hope you enjoyed your festive season and are ready for the next term ahead. You’re all probably wondering what’s going on this week as two blogging rivals come together to raise great awareness on a subject that’s caused concern around the New Bridge Group recently.
Jack: As many of you have been made aware of, over the Christmas break there has been ongoing controversy around cyber-bullying. With a main role in the school, it’s our duty to take other pupils’ thoughts, opinions and feelings into account, it’s a shame some of our pupils could bring this distress into our New Bridge family. As Mrs Lamb and Mr Bright spoke about in this Friday’s assembly regarding our e-safety rules, situations like this could be more serious and could go beyond the school’s power and handed to the local authority. This is not a procedure we would wish to take, hopefully we could resolve within our Group and put the right actions and consequences in play. Both of us have come up with suggestions to set up a cyber-bullying program for students to come to staff and report issues and concerns they may be dealing with or witnessed, we could also expand it to people who may want to come forward to being a cyber-bully. Hopefully this matter can be resolved in a matter of days, it’s just unfortunate we’ve had to address this in our weekly blogs but we can assure you that myself and Matthew will support views of the students and parents/carers, just please be patient and the matter will be solved.
Matthew: As a student at Medtia Square, I personally felt that our New Bridge Family was extremely close across all of our sites. Unfortunately, these ties are under increasing strain. As a functional family, we are meant to look out for each other and act respectful. No functional family would ever resort to bullying! One of the things I have noticed throughout my four-year tenure is how our close bond sticks through our good times and our difficult moments. We will not tolerate any sort of a “bullying culture” because it is not the New Bridge Way. The New Bridge Way is about being a good citizen who takes an active role in society, not someone who sits behind the computer screen offending everybody! Being a past victim of this merciless crime gives me more of an understanding of how people will feel in this situation. It’s horrible and soul-destroying. What makes it more monstrous is the bully cannot see the destruction they are causing. Now I won’t resort to advising you on how to use social media because I simply have no right to. However, it is your responsibility as a good British citizen to act within the laws of the land. Behaviour that causes harm and offence to others on the Internet will almost guarantee you a criminal record and a prison sentence. Furthermore, no one wants to be friends with a bully!