#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | Ombudsman fields over 400 grievances about school bullying

More than 400 complaints about bullying in schools have been made to the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman since 2018, with the issue making up almost 10 per cent of all complaints received in that period.

Ombudsman Niall Muldoon will on Tuesday tell the Oireachtas Education Committee there is an increase in cases of serious bullying resulting in physical and/or sexual assault.

He will say that some schools fail to report child-protection and welfare issues arising from bullying cases to Tusla, the child and family agency.

In a submission provided to committee members in advance of discussion on the problem of school bullying and its impact on mental health, Dr Muldoon says a State monitoring framework, the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, is not doing anything more than checking if schools have a policy for responding to bullying.

His office recommended in 2016 that authorities should collate specific information and data on bullying countrywide to determine the issues and solutions that were occurring in schools.

“In light of a number of consultations we have had with children who say that within their schools they have experienced issues such as racism, homophobia and negative commentary about their mental health, we believe it is long overdue,” he says in his submission.

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