We hope that you have enjoyed a wonderful and relaxing festive break, and we wish you a very happy New Year.
Unfortunately, we are writing to you because of a rise in the number of incidents of online-bullying involving students, both at the end of last module and during the Holidays. Many of these begin with initially trivial comments or events but are escalated beyond all proportion by students who were not originally part of the situation who feel it is appropriate to continue “stirring”, passing messages between “sides” or encouraging students to resolve their differences by fighting.
We are truly dismayed at the content of some of the messages that we have seen. We also know that these are not things that the students would say to each other in person.
We would like to encourage you to have a conversation with your child about their online presence and the potential consequences of their actions both online and in person. While it may seem anonymous and impersonal, nothing posted online can ever truly be taken back, and traces of who posted what content was posted can be uncovered.
In a recent letter to Kent Schools, Kent Police said:
We would like to take this opportunity to inform you and your child that any person posting such material could potentially be committing a criminal offence. One such offence could be under the Malicious Communications Act 1988:
Any person who sends to another person—
- (a) a letter, electronic communication or article of any description which conveys—
- (i) a message which is indecent or grossly offensive;
- (ii) a threat; or
- (iii) information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender; or
- (b) any article or electronic communication which is, in whole or part, of an indecent or grossly offensive nature.
As schools police officers we work within your schools, aiming to educate, reduce harm, divert children away from criminality and reduce exclusions.
If you are worried for the safety or wellbeing of a child or if you are a victim of child abuse yourself, find out the different ways you can get in touch and report your concerns by visiting:
If you suspect someone is in immediate danger, then call 999.
They have also provided an information sheet that highlights several trusted websites that contain information on safe use of the internet. We have attached that information sheet with this letter. As a school we encourage parents/carers to make the most of all the tools that are available, in order to be aware of your child’s activities online, and to encourage them in becoming responsible digital citizens.
If you or your child comes across inappropriate or threatening messages we encourage you to use the reporting tools in the app as well as to contact the police if you feel it necessary. Unfortunately, we as a school are limited in our ability to control or sanction content posted online. We can offer support to students and yourselves in navigating the process of reporting the content and we have an open door policy if students wish to speak to us about any of these issues.
Please do not hesitate to contact us using the emails below if you have any questions, comments or concerns.
Thank you for your support.
Pete Devlin | Head of College – Apollo
Steph Goodall | Head of College – Jupiter
Patrick Lonergan | Head of College – Minerva