Bengaluru: Schools and colleges in the city are beginning to recognise and address cyber bullying.
While educational institutions may have cracked down on on-campus ragging, bullying appears to have moved online. And, although cyber bullying is more difficult to take cognizance of, some educational institutions have found a way to address it.
Some are conducting workshops and talks to make students aware of the gravity of acts like cyber bullying and stalking and how they could protect themselves better. Mount Carmel College has gone a step further and set up a cybercrime redressal committee, comprising four faculty members.
The committee also “keeps a watch” on social media interactions among students and intervenes if required. Assistant professor, department of psychology, Archana HS, a member of the committee, said, “I’m also active on Facebook and a lot of students are my friends online. So, I keep a watch and if I see anything about a student or the institution that is not in good taste, I immediately ask them to take it down.”
This committee has received cases of students being trolled (being target of deliberately offensive and provocative posts), bullied by their peers online and being stalked by anonymous accounts. In one case that was serious — a student’s morphed pictures were posted online — the college sought police intervention.
Harvest International School has found a unique way to create awareness about the menace. A majority of workshops the school conducts are by senior students. For example, last year, students of grades 9-12 conducted a session for their juniors on the dangers of online games with emphasis on the notorious ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ game.
Principal Dakshayani Kanna says, “The students themselves are much better equipped than the faculty to talk on these issues.” In addition, sometimes, parents who work in the IT sector conduct sessions on cyber security and sharing of private data online.
In Greenwood High International School, the IT department is tasked with conducting presentations for students on the problems they may encounter online, in the form of trolling or bullying. Principal Aloysius D’Mello said, “We do not monitor their social media accounts, but many faculty members are connected to them on these platforms and if we see something objectionable we have student counsellors who speak to them. We also call their parents if needed.”