Redland mayor Karen Williams has backed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on her move to attack cyber bullying, calling for the issue to be widened.
Premier Palaszczuk is today meeting with experts to discuss a proposal to tackle cyberbullying that she proposes to take to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other premiers and chief ministers at the Council of Australian Governments meeting next month.
She said measures included funding for yourtown to support Kids Helpline and Parentline services to cater for calls about the impact of bullying, particularly cyberbullying.
Cr Williams said anything that shone a light on the disrespectful behaviour being witnessed online had her support.
“I think, however, if we only focus on young people we will miss the mark," Cr Williams said.
“The standards need to start with adults who need to lead by example by being respectful on social media.”
She said Redland City Council was looking at options to encourage more respectful behaviour on line.
“I’ll be writing to the premier and other community leaders and asking them to join us in calling for more respectful behavioru on social media.”
Ms Palaszczuk said parents were feeling helpless.
“Children are feeling defeated,” she said. “We need to work together to get on top of this issue. Every child should have the opportunity of good education free of bullying and harassment.
“We can have zero tolerance in our schools but cyberbullying follows kids into their homes and into their rooms.
“I want to take these stories from the kitchen table to a plan for action around the COAG table.”
COAG meets in Canberra on 9 February.
Yourtown is the Queensland-based provider of Kids Helpline, a national 24/7 telephone and on-line counselling and support service for five to 25 year olds, with special capacity for young people with mental health issues. It also operates Parentline, a telephone counselling service for parents and carers.
In 2017, yourtown responded to 959 cases of cyberbullying and 151 were from young Queenslanders.
The most common age group is 12-14 year olds. It also responded to 3111 contacts nationally with concerns about on line activity and texting, with 496 of these coming from Queensland. Last year yourtown responded to 10,636 contacts with suicide related concerns. This was a 22 per cent increase from 2016.
Young people needing support can contact the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
Parents and carers can call Parentline on 1300 30 1300.