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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Clitheroe Conference to Combat Cyberbullying

Published Monday 14th October 13

Internet safety is the subject of a conference at The Grand, Clitheroe, on Wednesday 16 October.

Ribble Valley's first internet safety conference, from 6.30 to 8.30pm, is aimed at parents, grandparents, guardians and carers.

The event will outline how to combat cyberbullying, use computer privacy settings, use chat sites safely and which web sites to avoid.

It will include a short drama on the risks of social networking by pupils from Ribblesdale High School, while Catherine Perrin-Griffiths, a former pupil of St Cecilia's High School in Longridge, will perform her song, Josh's Song, in memory of schoolfriend Joshua Unsworth, who was found dead behind his family home in Goosnargh in April after allegedly being bullied on a social networking site.

The event has been organised by Ribble Valley Borough Council, Lancashire Police and The Grand, after a survey among high school pupils in Ribble Valley revealed 88 per cent of respondents had a social networking account, 75 per cent had chatted to someone they did not know and 60 per cent had experienced bullying directly or indirectly.

Ribble Valley Borough Council's partnership officer, David Ingham, said: "Children of the internet age face the threat of bullies reaching them wherever they are and at any time.

"They are learning social dynamics on the internet and staying abreast of that as a parent is difficult.

"The aim of the conference is to offer advice and information to parents to help them stay a step ahead of the cyberbullies."

Cyberbullying is the use of the internet and related technologies to harm or harass people in a deliberate, repeated and hostile manner.

According to the NSPCC, 38 per cent of young people have been affected by cyberbullying, including unwanted sexual messages and cyberstalking, while ChildLine received 31,599 calls from children about the problem in 2011/12.

Entrance to the conference is free, but places are limited, so early arrival is advised.