A University of Northampton student has spent the summer equipping school children with knowledge to beat online cyber bullies.
Undergraduate Hulda Adao has conducted a series of cyber bullying workshops for hundreds of Northamptonshire secondary school pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9.
A YouGov study in 2015 found that one-in-five young people had suffered online abuse, and Hulda herself was targeted by trolls when she was at school.
In 2016 she launched EyeSpeakTV, an online platform which aims to raise awareness amongst young people about a number of issues, including mental health and bullying.
She said: “The statistics are quite frightening because they mean in an average classroom of 30 children, around six of those will have experienced some form of bullying online.
“I felt it was important to try and educate those who were beginning to use social media about the dangers online. So I set up the workshops specifically for Year 7 and 8 pupils, as they are new to secondary school and probably have a mobile phone for the first time and using social media.
“The aim of the workshops are not just to prevent people becoming victims of cyberbullying, but also to prevent people becoming cyberbullies themselves, by explaining what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour, and the effect bullying has on people.”
The workshops are designed to provoke discussion around online bullying, provide guidance on how to deal with it and examine the responsibility to report cyberbullying.
Hulda, who studies International Tourism Management and Event Management, added: “It’s all too easy to scroll past a vicious post on Facebook and think it’s somebody else’s problem. But I tell the young people that they have the power to make the internet a safer place by reporting these posts, to stop other people suffering.”
Hulda is pictured with pupils from Northampton Academy.