Pupils to grill MP on cyber-bullying

Preston MP Mark Hendrick
Preston MP Mark Hendrick
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Pupils will have the chance to grill Preston MP Mark Hendrick about cyber-bullying in an interview tomorrow.

The event at St Matthew’s Primary School will be part of a group of youngsters’ entry for a ‘Lights, Camera, Parliament’ film competition.

The contest encourages young people to think about important issues that directly affect them. It challenges them to think of one law they would like to see introduced and to present their case in an inspirational short film.

Pupils Beres Smith, Huriyah Malik and Harisah Malik have chosen to tackle cyber-bullying - sending threatening and intimidating messages electronically - which typically takes place on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Perpetrators often post messages and comments anonymously causing much distress to the victim.

Extreme cases have led to suicide by young people and this can be followed by the defamation of sites dedicated to the victim’s memory, causing further anguish to their family.

Mr Hendrick said: “Cyber-bullying is an increasingly worrying problem, particularly for our children and young people and I am glad it’s being tackled by the children for their film project.

“I look forward to viewing their finished piece of work and wish them all the best in the competition.”

Questions put to Mr Hendrick will include ‘how can we make parents more aware about cyber-bullying?’, ‘should social media do more to protect their users such as raising the age of members to 16?’ and ‘are there any plans to debate this issue in Parliament?’.

Beres said: “Cyber bullying can affect people at home, at work and even at school.

“We would like a universal panic button installed onto every website so that cases of cyber bullying can be sent instantly to the relevant authorities.”

Headteacher Roger Small said: “The children could produce either a script, a storyboard or a short film or documentary and they opted for the latter.

“Mark’s interview will be one of the focal points of the film and the children are extremely excited ahead of Friday.”

This national competition is open to children and young people aged 7-16.

Entrants are requested to submit a short film of three minutes, a script or storyboard by February 14.

Successful past entries have included ‘Bike Helmet Law’, ‘Vote at 16’ and ‘Ban Size 0 models on the Front Cover of Magazines’.

Winners will have the opportunity to showcase their winning entry in Parliament and undertake a tour of the House of Commons.

Visit www.makewav.es/lcp for more information or to enter.