Belfast Telegraph

Mother's cyber bullying warning after learning daughter sent hurtful message

By Claire Williamson

A Northern Ireland mother has told of her agony as she learned her teenage daughter had sent a malicious message to another young girl.

The concerned parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, described the moment she received a phone call from the police to say they were coming to her house to discuss the incident.

The mother wants to raise awareness in a bid to encourage other parents and young people to be aware of what can be happening behind their children's screens.

Incredibly, she said she was happy that the victim's mother had gone to the police, as it opened her eyes to what was happening.

She told the Belfast Telegraph: "I got a phone call from the PSNI. I came home and I knew myself that something had happened.

"The police came out and they were very professional. We sat at the table and they said she was the perpetrator, she is the person that has made this problem happen. The police officer said if this happens again we will arrest her and take her phone."

The worried mum said her life "changed" from that moment on and she was in a "state of shock".

She described how she was "glad" that the victim's mum went to the police and encouraged others to speak up if this is happening to them.

"I am very glad because it's opened my eyes," she added.

The mother has since penned a letter, which details the problem that she feels comes from the ease of access that children have to phones, the internet and technology.

She has since restricted the amount of time and when her children are allowed their phones.

She added: "When I read the papers at the weekend, and I see a young face that has been bullied - there are hundreds of texts from so-called friends.

"The reality of the situation is intense."

She continued: "Children are not developing into normal human beings.

"We are providing their wifi and phones at £600 - because that is what parents do.

"They are not old enough to understand that not everything on the internet is good. And at this stage it needs to be controlled, what they have access to.

"They take their phones into classrooms in school and they can send a hundred texts while sitting in English class.

"We need to have some control over our kids. That harsh reality is so close to every one of us. It's on the touch of a mobile phone.

"We need to protect our kids. They haven't the opportunity to grow up."

"It scares me, I'm frightened for every parent. I'm scared for every child.

"They need access to the internet but it needs to be controlled."

You can read the mother's letter in full here:

Parent's heartfelt warning about social media and the 'casual cruelty' that young people can inflict on each other

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