Once upon a time, chatting with friends outside of school meant using a landline. Playing games with pals involved knocking on their doors. Being bullied by other pupils was confined to school hours.
Now, the virtual world has created a 24/7 timeframe for children and young people to become the targets of cyberbullying. With phones in their pockets and consoles in their bedrooms, the idea of home being a ‘safe place’ away from school bullies is sadly of the past.
For Thomas, our story’s protagonist, bullying is invasive, invariable, and isolating. His teacher is willing to help and offers support but is unaware that the bullying continues outside of the school gates.
Just like Thomas, many children and young people will have apps and games on their phone they’re not supposed to have. This can create a barrier. They might feel they can’t speak to a parent, carer, or another trusted adult about online bullying in case they get in trouble.
It’s not just when children and young people are at home that cyberbullying happens. Nearly three out of four children who have been cyberbullied experienced some of it at school or during school time.