Year 9 students have completed a presentation integrating video, text, images etc on an IT issue of their choice. A reasonably high percentage choose Cyberbullying as their topic. Inevitably, and possibly because teenage girls love “real life drama”, this leads to a few slides about consequences of cyberbullying including suicide. A typical story is the tragic story of Amanda Todd (above image and story). As part of their work students need to present to small groups and display some learning to the class. This inevitably leads to group and class discussion on teenage suicide – a discussion that is vitally important but one I am possibly ill equipped to facilitate. Fortunately many of the students have good suggestions including where to access suicide hotlines and what to do if cyberbullied courtesy of Netsafe.
So, while the debate on teenage suicide may not be in public, it’s sure happening in the schools.