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Online bullying in school is regularly reported

CYBER-BULLYING in schools is reported around three times a week on average, council figures suggest.

Some 524 incidents have been recorded by 16 local authorities in the last three years, according to figures obtained by the Conservatives.

But the party says it believes this is just the tip of the iceberg as only half of councils responded, and the respondents did not include the top five biggest authorities such as the major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The Conservatives have called on the Scottish Government to formally record incidents of cyber-bullying to reflect the growing influence of social media.

Flashpoints include children as young as eight verbally abusing each other via social media and youngsters exchanging insults over X-box consoles.

There were also incidents reported of children filming bullying and then threatening to share the images online.

Police have been involved in dealing with cyber-bullying on numerous occasions, and several children have been excluded.

In some cases teachers were involved in additional online bullying training, while parents were summoned to meetings.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said: "The picture painted here is extremely worrying, which is why we need local authorities to do more to collect and publish this information.

"The lives of hundreds, if not thousands of children's lives, are being made a misery as a result of cyber-bullying. That is a disgraceful situation and, with young lives being damaged, the Scottish Government need to take a lead on this."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "All pupils receive classes that look at appropriate online behaviour and the help available to report abuse."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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