We’ve had months of headlines about the dangers of MySpace, Bebo and the other social networking websites. The US Government has been making regulatory noises, the media boiling and bubbling cases of toil and trouble online, and schools all too eager to write home warning of their perils. The schools irritate me the most, actually, with their brazenly populist appeal to parents attempting to score a few easy brownie points by saying ‘We blocked Bebo’ as if it had been a gigantic struggle.
How curious, therefore, to see the following on BBC News today. As part of an effort to deter bullies in schools, children will be able to vote on the worst offenders in their school via a website.
“Bully Beater is part of the School Poll service used to gauge children’s opinions on a number of subjects. It lists all pupils in a school alphabetically, allowing their peers to rank them on a bullying scale.”
Oh good! So anyone with access to this website would have a list of every single pupil in the school. Will there be logins? Sure. Aren’t there logins to Bebo and Myspace too?
On a much better note, Yahoo and Windows Live Messengers have now linked up, as long promised. That’ll be more scary online people to talk to then…
That’s a bit sad, isn’t it really. Like the X-Factor for bullies. Surely they want recognition from their peers, that’s why they do it? Oh I dunno.
I wonder where we’d come in this list…
I think it’s an absolutely terrible idea. Not only is it contradictful to schools’ actions (and we’re always told that ALL schools are joined as a community), but how can that possibly be an advantage for the prevention of bullying?!
Fantastic – I’ll just go away and hide in the corner from Mr. Bully right at the top of the list. Nice.
I suppose the idea behind it is that the bullies, who we all know the names of, are almost extradited from the school society – named & shamed. And I must say, from experience, naming & shaming has a massive effect.
It’s kind of like the sex offenders’ register. If we knew who they were, their lives would be more difficult to live.
Instead of "hide in the corner from Mr Bully", it would be a case of Mr Bully hiding, because everyone knows he *is* the biggest bully in the school. Even the staff.
But I don’t think it will work via a website.
Instead, make the results private and get someone in the school’s SMT to parade them infront of everyone. Embarass them massively and then exclude them for a couple of weeks
That is idealistic, surely a bully who is focusing his/her bullying on an inidvidual would bully others into voting for the person they are bullying. In that way, the person at the top of the list would be the person being bullied rather than the bully. I also think that it is important to look at the reasons for bullying.