There are loads of sites around that allow you to talk to other people on the web. Chat rooms and networks give you the chance to have a conversation with other people and get instant replies, while online message boards let you post up questions or comments and ask other users to give their opinion in their own time.
They can be a great way to communicate to other people who share your interests, but you should always be careful not to pass on any of your personal details. You should always keep in mind that Internet users can pretend to be anyone they like. They can lie about their age, their interests and whether they're male or female. No matter how long you've been chatting, remember that they're still strangers; you don't really know them at all.
Some of you may have your own web page set up that lets you chat with friends or communicate with other users who share your interests. These 'social networks' also let you create your own blog, upload photos and videos for others to see, and add people to an online friends list.
Social networks are a great way of keeping in touch but you should think carefully before adding someone to your list of online friends or posting a blog entry that could get you into trouble at school, college or work. Remember that:
To stay safe, make sure that when you're using a chat room or posting on a message board, you never give out any personal information like your address or your phone number. You should always use a nickname, so no-one can look you up in a telephone directory and get your home phone number. It’s usually not a good idea to arrange to meet up with someone that you've been chatting to online. Remember that you can never be sure that they're telling the truth about their age or their interests and you could be putting yourself in danger.
If you do want to meet up with someone you've met online, make sure that you discuss it with your parents beforehand. If they do agree, make sure that you arrange a meeting in a public place and that you take an adult with you.
Bullies are very cunning and are expert at getting away with it.
As a Catholic School we believe every child is unique and made in God’s image. We all know that bullying goes on in every school but it's the way it's dealt with which makes the difference between life being tolerable or a misery. Bullying is hurtful and we will do our best to stop it. Helping children to recognise bullying is so important so please look through this guide with your child.
Bullies can also frighten you so that you don't want to go to school, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them.
If you are being bullied, tell a friend, tell a teacher and tell your parents. It won't stop unless you do. It can be hard to do this so if you don't feel you can do it in person it might be easier to write a note to your parents explaining how you feel, or perhaps confide in someone outside the immediate family, like a grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin and ask them to help you tell your parents what's going on.
Your class teacher needs to know what is going on so try to find a time to tell her when it won't be noticeable. You could stay behind on the pretext of needing help with some work. Tell someone, often Teaching Assistants are available when your teacher is not.
The best idea is if a teacher can catch the bullies red-handed. That way, you won't get into bother from anyone for telling tales. It will be clear to everyone what has been going on. Don't be tempted to hit back because you could get hurt or get into trouble.