Cellphone use in schools triggers bullying among teens

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Wellington, June 14 (ANI): While teenagers are increasingly using cellphones in schools, but the technology also has a downside-bullying.

Students at Auckland's Howick College are already using cellphones in class to store lessons, and digital devices are expected to become the equivalent of pens and paper in schools within five years as education technology advances.

But, James Sanderson, a psychology masters student who wrote a thesis on bullying, around 80 percent teenagers have been a victim of cyber bullying or text bullying at the age of 15.

Cellphones are a symbol of social status.

Bullying via cellphones requires very little technical skill, and it is harder to detect than cyber-bullying.

Juvenile victims were also reluctant to let anyone read their text messages.

Text attacks are sometimes specific to the individual but the common themes were body shape, sexuality, demeanour and dress style.

"Given that adolescents tend to keep their cellphones with them all the time, this also increases the bully's level of access to the victim," Stuff.co.nz quoted Sanderson as saying.

Professor Noeline Wright of Waikato University, who is assessing the cellphone pilot programme at Howick College, said that schools need to be extremely vigilant to prevent bullying, theft, and inappropriate texting.

"There need to be really good procedures in a school for managing these," he said. (ANI)

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