Mobile Phones (Schools)

Education and Skills written question – answered on 14th June 2005.

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Photo of Adrian Bailey Adrian Bailey Labour, West Bromwich West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what policies are being developed to stop the bullying with mobile phones known as 'happy slapping' in schools.

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State (Schools), Department for Education and Skills

Happy slapping incidents may well be considered violent crimes under existing criminal law legislation, and therefore should be dealt with in the same way as other such incidents. Guidance on dealing with such incidents is available on the teachernet website and further advice to schools on violence reduction is currently being developed.

In terms of bullying by mobile phone, part of the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) remit under the funding provided by the Department is to develop innovative and practical approaches to tackling bullying, including the modern menace of bullying by text messaging. Bullying by text messages on mobile phones is also referred to in our guidance pack for schools 'Don't suffer in Silence'.

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