Think B4 U click – don’t be a mobile cyberbully!

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), the peak industry body representing mobile phone companies and manufacturers, has developed a schools policy to assist parents, teachers and students to manage the safe and responsible use of mobile phones in schools.

AMTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said the schools policy had been widely distributed to schools, parents’ organisations and education authorities to assist tackling cyberbullies.

Mr Althaus said the schools policy made it clear that cyberbullying was totally unacceptable and those who engaged in it could potentially face criminal sanctions.

“The policy makes clear that it is totally unacceptable for students to engage in cyberbullying and ganging up on another student by using mobile phones to take videos and pictures to denigrate and humiliate a student and sending pictures to other students or uploading it to a website for public viewing.

“It is a criminal offence to use mobile phones to menace, harass or offend another person and almost all calls, text messages and emails can be traced.

“We urge students to think B4 U click. Don’t be a cyberbully!”

Mr Althaus said the schools policy made it clear that it was a privilege to take a mobile phone to school and it may be withdrawn if a student failed in his or her duty to behave responsibly and in accordance with the school’s requirements.

He said parents overwhelmingly wanted their children to have access to mobile phones for safety and security. Recent research by some of Australia’s leading social scientists had found that three-quarters of respondents to Australia’s biggest study on the impact of mobile phones said that carrying a mobile made them feel safe and secure.

AMTA has produced tips for young victims of bullying via mobile phones. It gives advice on what to do if they receive unwanted text messages from other students and shows where they can get help.

AMTA has also produced a companion guide for parents and teachers, giving advice on what they can do to help the young victims of bullying via mobile phones.

The Bullying Tips for Teens can be viewed here.

TheBullying Tip for Parents/Teachers can be viewed here.

The Schools' Mobile Phone Policy Template can be viewed here.

For more information contact Randal Markey, Manager, Communications, (02) 6239 6555 or 0421 240 550