Schools must do more to stop 'viciousness' of online bullies, Michael Gove says

Teachers are not doing enough to stop the “viciousness and personal cruelty” shown by online bullies like those who caused the death of teenager Hannah Smith, Michael Gove has warned.

The Education Secretary said that we need to make “sure we have the right behaviour and discipline policies in schools" to teach children “respect for other human beings”.

Hannah Smith, 14, was found dead after she received a series of abusive messages on the Ask.fm website, telling her to “drink bleach”, “go get cancer” and “go die”.

Mr Gove said that cyberbullying is a “huge problem” but that “fixing what’s in people’s hearts” is as important as forcing internet site owners to do more to protect children.

He suggested that schools must take more responsibility for teaching children the “right values”.

“One of the questions that we have to ask is why is it that amongst some young people there is a desire to show a degree of viciousness and personal cruelty which is horrendous,” Mr Gove said in a speech at Conservative Party headquarters.

“And I think part of that comes from making sure that we have the right behaviour and discipline policies in schools and that we teach our children the right values.

“And one of those values is not just tolerance of difference, but respect for other human beings.”

- telegraph.co.uk


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