Gove tells teachers to do more to instil respect in pupils in bid to stop cyber-bullying

Teachers must do more to stop the ‘viciousness and personal  cruelty’ of online bullies such as those who taunted teenager Hannah Smith to death, Michael Gove said yesterday. This is from the Daily Mail

The Education Secretary suggested not enough was being done in the classroom to instil ‘respect for other human beings’ and teach pupils ‘the right values’.

He said cyber-bullying was a ‘huge problem’, but that as well as those who run websites being held to account, teachers had to provide the ‘right behaviour and discipline policies in schools’.

…Mr Gove, speaking at the Tory Party’s HQ in London, said: ‘Why is it that among some young people there is a desire to show a degree of viciousness and personal cruelty which is horrendous?

‘Part of that comes from making sure we have the right behaviour and discipline  policies in schools and that we teach our children the right values.’

This included tolerance of difference and also respect for other human beings, he said.

…Mr Gove said it was important that websites which enabled bullying were held to account but that society  must examine the motivation of their young users.

‘One of the things we can do is use effective publicity to shame those who are allowing that sort of activity to exist on sites,’ he said.

‘But we need to ask a series of questions – not just about how this technology can be used to inflict suffering on vulnerable young people.

‘We also need to ask about the motivation of those young people who are using these sites.’

He said it was true that technology had created a new arena where bullying could take place.

‘But when it comes to tackling bullying, it’s not just fixing a technology, it’s fixing what’s in people’s hearts,’ he said.

…Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: ‘Cyber-bullying is an age-old threat given an intrusive new reach by technology. It’s real and the effects can be tragic.

‘We need to teach children how to protect themselves and how to behave online.

‘It can be done and is being done in many schools.’

More at:  Gove tells teachers to do more to instil respect in pupils in bid to stop cyber-bullying

Is Michael Gove right to raise this as an issue for schools? Should he also be drawing the attention of parents to their role in helping instil respect in their own children? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Does Gove think schls don’t try to educate children to behave appropriately online? Trouble is cyberbullying happens at home

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Possibly parents could take some responsibility for this, but he can’t say that; more parental votes than teachers votes

  3. chrismcd53

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove aside from context of quote – whilst Digital Literacy does need a raised profile – Mr Gove’s simplifies prob

  4. LearnWLesley

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove ii starts when they r young.Yes teachers have role 2 play but it comes down 2 what parents teach children

  5. andylutwyche

    chrismcd53 SchoolsImprove “Role models” of children have been known to cyberbully – why does the buck always seem to stop with teachers?

  6. chrismcd53

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove bullying is bullying – the Internet is simply a medium. Key is active and informed parents.

  7. andylutwyche

    LearnWLesley SchoolsImprove Totally agree, schools to educate, parents need to instil etiquette and values as CB happens mainly at home

  8. andylutwyche

    chrismcd53 SchoolsImprove Agreed – trouble is the political rhetoric suggests that parents don’t need to patent anymore, school shld do it

  9. jochambers

    SchoolsImprove we can do our bit, but mainly parents’ responsibility to make sure that their children grow as decent human beings, surely?

  10. ManishaTailor1

    SchoolsImprove dual responsibility. Needs that values based culture & ethos in school,but supported by parents at home.

  11. gingertom5

    SchoolsImprove It’s a lazy response- blame teachers again. Pupils show respect at school but often not at home/in society.

  12. markkwinder

    SchoolsImprove teachers have pupils for 15% of their time awake…. Teachers can help but to lay responsibility…. It’s a society issue

  13. thedippyhippy

    SchoolsImprove This makes me v angry. Schools do this all the time. I for one got police involved more than once+had zero tolerance policy

  14. thedippyhippy

    SchoolsImprove For Gove to say that this is our remit+to not acknowledge role parents have to play in bringing up THEIR children is wrong

  15. thedippyhippy

    SchoolsImprove And to imply teachers don’t do this is beyond insulting. Either way he should have kept his mouth shut.

  16. looloobyloo

    SchoolsImprove andylutwyche sadly teachers are the easy ones to blame. Parents r not a political lever but schools are.

  17. sunnyfieldsmrr

    StephenDrew72 SchoolsImprove couldn’t agree more. How often do I remind staff to lead by example, yet political leaders behave so poorly

  18. GrahamBett

    SchoolsImprove I hope he wasn’t inferring any link between a school and recent events. That would be disgraceful; he has no evidence for it

  19. Jy_Taylor

    terryfish what does he think we do??? Does he not realise how much time and energy is spent on trying to prevent cyber-bullying?

  20. JaninLincoln

    SchoolsImprove Teachers seem to be responsible for all financial, cultural & moral ed now, plus childcare. Parents apparently redundant.

  21. simonraz

    GrahamBett SchoolsImprove I was waiting for this. Next we will be told to educate pupils to prevent chemical attacks in Syria!

  22. OldMajor4

    SchoolsImprove Yet Tory ideology of individual gain at others’ expense is what creates lack of respect. Also, what role parents?

  23. McGDJ

    SchoolsImprove do we also have to consider the effect of a culture in which the weak go to the wall? 40 years of UK politics has an impact

  24. alykeeling

    jochambers SchoolsImprove absolutely, profession always seem worried about turning focus on parents re many issues.

  25. AmandaCatteral2

    SchoolsImprove yet again schools being burdened with picking up pieces after the failings of parents to monitor their children’s behaviour

  26. wraitken

    GrahamBett SchoolsImprove he only cares about his little sound bites and getting his 5 mins, take everything with pinch of salt now

  27. wraitken

    jochambers SchoolsImprove we do this successfully, but has taken many years and NEEDED the work of parents in first place

  28. wraitken

    SchoolsImprove he is starting to remind me of Kevin Keegan when he ranted about Man U in the 90s, do your job and stop publicity seeking!

  29. jochambers

    wraitken SchoolsImprove as a parent I’m insulted, it’s least I can do for my children. As a teacher, I despair. Talk about nanny state.

  30. katherineswilde

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove I agree- most instances happen when children have access to Internet in their rooms and late at night

  31. andylutwyche

    katherineswilde SchoolsImprove And despite what ministers may think, schools don’t hold much sway at home

  32. DenrooneyDenise

    SchoolsImprove How many school policies had he read before making statement like this?#none Respect needs to be taught at home#parentsrole

  33. joanner79Jo

    And the parents’ role in all this is…As both a parent and a teacher this oversimplification frustrates me. Talking of role models, have you ever listened to prime minister’s questions? Hardly inspirational in the way our leaders conduct themselves. Often reminds of the worst playground behaviour.

  34. lyntaylor55

    SchoolsImprove what us again! We’ve got to sort everything! What about parents instilling respect, children are with them longer!

  35. drama_holly

    SchoolsImprove that’s all and well and good but it’s not just school what about the parents? More time is spent out of school than in it!

  36. LinziRose_x

    SchoolsImprove good idea but parents need lessons on this too. Kids learn from ALL there elders esp from parents .

  37. M_Coneley

    SchoolsImprove …but parents need to support it too, & perhaps they need educating about it even more so than kids (some not all)

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