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Unity College cracks down on cyber bullies with police talk
Staff say some students' bad behaviour on social media reflects badly on the school and will not be tolerated.
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Police are warning local high schoolers about the dangers of social media and posting online.
Senior Constable David Brown visited Unity College Middle School last Thursday to talk to year 8 and 9 students about cyber safety and the laws around cyber bullying.
He warned students about “sextortion”, a form of blackmail whereby someone demands explicit content from another person.
He said sextortion was problematic, not only through the forced sharing of private content but because anyone could be convicted of possession or creation of child pornography, including minors.
“Having naked or even a partially naked photo of someone under 18 is an offence,” Senior Constable Brown said.
“This includes images of the person that is taking the photo,” he said.
Senior Constable Brown advised students to consider whether posts they wished to upload in future were appropriate, who could view it, and once uploaded, the post was out of the uploader’s control.
Further, whether the information they shared online was accurate, whether it would offend others, and if it was a photo, what the surrounding environment could reveal.
Chatrooms in online games could also endanger young people.
“The average online gamer is a 34-year-old male, so the chances are you could be talking to someone that is a lot older than you,” he said.
“Not everyone is who they say they are.”
He also showed them a video that explained Carly’s law, which was passed in 2017 after 15-year-old South Australian, Carly Ryan was murdered in 2007 by an online predator posing as a teenage boy.
Senior Constable Brown told students they should inform someone if they start to feel unsafe online.
“Nothing is so bad that you can’t tell someone. You can talk to a parent, guardian, friend, teacher, the police, even Kids Helpline,” Senior Constable Brown said.
“It is okay to say no – it is the easiest word to say.”
Head of Middle School at Unity College, Christian Neumann, said the talk was timely.
There had recently been some incidents involving online bullying amongst students, and somebody had created a social media page bagging the school.
“People that like that sort of content are bullies; I’ll call them out,” he said to students.
“Don’t lower yourself by making others feel lesser than you.
“If that’s the way certain students are going to behave, maybe Unity isn’t the school for them.”