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The things I wish my parents had known…about online sexual harassment (Children's Commissioner)

As a school we take all forms of bullying behaviour and harassment seriously. We are working with staff and students to ensure that our practises are the best that they can be to meet the needs of our students. This week we have shared with students an assembly around the topic of harassment and bullying behaviour, what it is and how they can report it, either as a witness or as a victim.

The Children's Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza DBE, has recently published a guidance document for parents helping to support them to understand online sexual harassment. It is a sensitive topic, and not one all parents feel comfortable discussing with their children.

The commissioner's team brought together a group of 16 - 21 year olds and asked them talk about what they think parents should know, and what they should say to their children when talking about sexualised bullying and the pressures of growing up online. 

Key advice from the young adults in the focus groups included: 

  • Start conversations early, before your child gets a phone or social media account. Keep the conversation going over time, adapting to your child. 
  • Young people want their parents to learn about new technology and trends, including risky behaviours and dangerous spaces online. 
  • Create a safe and trusting home environment. Young people told us the home environment is key, they want to share things with their parents but don’t always feel able. 

Parents are welcome to speak to school staff of they have any concerns however you may find reading the full leaflet produced by the Children’s Commissioner useful and you can access it by clicking on this link:

https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/cco_talking_to_your_child_about_online_sexual_harassment_a-guide_for_parents_dec_2021.pdf