Parents and teachers cannot keep up with technology quickly enough to effectively deal with cyber bullying, the Children’s Commissioner has said.
Sally Holland said young people in Wales need “safe spaces” to talk about bullying on social media platforms.
Communications watchdog Ofcom recently reported that one in 10 young people aged 12-15 have been bullied online.
Advice service Get Safe Online said “the bully is in the back pocket” and cyber bullying happens “24/7”.
Research by the UK Safer Internet Centre found 43% of young people knew someone who shared a photo or video of them without asking and a quarter also said they regularly shared screenshots of other peoples’ photos.
Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, spoke to more than 400 young people around the country along with 150 teachers and youth workers on the issue.
“We heard that children and young people have had enough of being told what to do and what not to do online, and want some space to talk about this complex issue in a safe atmosphere,” she said.
“They also told us that adults around them, parents and teachers, don’t understand their online world and can’t keep up with the technology. That echoes what teachers and youth workers told us.”
She has called on schools to create safe spaces for young people to talk and get support.
It is a story reflected by 15-year-old Rebecca, who was bullied after an innocent photo of her wearing a low-cut top at a party was shared on Snapchat by her boyfriend’s ex.