Pupils sign up to help victims of web bullying

editorial image

Pupils at a county school are gearing up to become mentors for victims of cyber bullying.

Thirty-two 12 to 17-year-olds at Montsaye Academy in Rothwell will work together to tackle bullying through Beatbullying’s online CyberMentors program.

They will be given special training today and have to pass a five-stage course before they can be registered as a volunteer CyberMentor.

Danielle Ishmael, head of house at the academy, said: “Everyone at Montsaye Academy is incredibly proud of its students who have become CyberMentors.

“We thought we could try and help as some of our students spend a massive amount of time online on things like Facebook and MSN Messenger.

“The students will learn about cyber bullying and the consequences of it, and we will hopefully have a group who will be able to offer advice to people who are affected.

“It will teach them listening skills, empathy and how to be a good mentor.”

The students join 8,000 youngsters from all around the UK who have already qualified as CyberMentors for the award-winning programme.

As part of their training, they will also learn about Beatbullying’s flagship campaign, The Big March 2012.

The campaign is the world’s first global virtual march and will ask the United Nations to make it a child’s right to live a life free from bullying.

The students will be given the opportunity to join the 150,000 parents, teachers, young people and celebrities – including pop stars Pixie Lott, Aston from JLS and Jedward – who have already signed up to take part in the protest.

It will be promoted on websites around the world, including MTV, Orange and Universal Music on March 1.

Since its launch in 2009, more than 1.5 million children and young people have visited CyberMentors.org.uk to seek help, support and advice with bullying issues.

Emma Jane Cross, chief executive officer of Beatbullying, said: “It is fantastic that students from Montsaye Academy are volunteering to provide support and guidance to other young people, both locally and across the country, in a bid to tackle bullying.”