Let’s Fight IT Together

Posted on 25 September 2009

25 September 2009

In Sydney, Childnet CEO Will Gardner and Chris Chapman, Chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, launched the Australian version of the film today.

This award-winning resource has been adapted for Australian needs and is being made available free to all schools in Australia.

Will Gardner said:

“Cyberbullying is a feature of many young people’s lives world wide, and we are delighted to have been able to work with the ACMA to make this resource available here in Australia. We hope that this film will enable children, parents and carers, and school staff to understand what cyberbullying is, to recognise that it does have an impact, and that there are things that all of us can do to help prevent and respond to cyberbullying”.

Chris Chapman said:

“Cyberbullying can be more pernicious than traditional forms of bullying: hostile messages can be sent at any time from any place; they can be sent anonymously and distributed more rapidly to wider audiences. For the target of the cyberbullying, there can be nowhere to run—places previously considered safe and personal are safe no longer.”

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said that said educational resources such as Let’s Fight It Together could empower young people, stating:

“This new resource will help raise awareness while providing important advice and support for young Australians, teachers and parents.”

Let’s Fight It Together

Let’s Fight It Together is a comprehensive teaching resource including a seven-minute film depicting the story of a teenager who becomes the target of bullying via the internet and his mobile phone. The film shows a number of ways in which cyberbullying occurs, who it involves and how it can affect different people, including the teacher who, in the film, is also impacted.

The film is supported by resource materials designed for teachers to use with students in discussing and addressing issues raised in the film. The materials include a 40-page Teacher’s Guide to the Let’s Fight It Together resource, containing essential advice on preparing class discussions, follow-up activities, lesson plans and details of support material and resources for further advice and an 8-page overview, with details on how to identify, prevent and respond to cyberbullying incidents.

Let’s Fight It Together can also be used by other organisations working with, or for, young people, including training organisations, companies wanting to train their staff, police forces and libraries, among others.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying can include:

  • spreading rumours online
  • sending unwanted taunting, or threatening messages
  • excluding individuals from social interaction online
  • defacing images on or setting up fake profiles on social networking sites.

Anyone can be bullied online and the bully can act anonymously if he or she wants to.

People can also be bullied online by groups of people such as class groups or collectively by members of an online community.

Research indicates that cyberbullying becomes more prevalent among school students in the mid-secondary years with an average of 7 to 10 per cent of students in years 4 to 9 reporting that they have been cyberbullied (Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study, Edith Cowan University for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

An ACMA quantitative survey (Click and Connect: Young Australians’ use of online social media, July 2009) with over 800 students aged 8-17 years indicated that the incidence of cyberbullying increases with age. By the age of 16-17 years nearly one in five report having experienced some form of cyberbullying.

Childnet International is a UK registered charity, established in 1995, with the aim of work with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.

Childnet produces a range of support materials for teachers, parents, carers and children. These include leaflets, lesson plans, interactive games, fact sheets and presentations, many of which can be downloaded from the Childnet website www.childnet.com.

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