Mobile operator Orange is hitting back at mobile phone bullying with a new initiative for UK schools, designed to tackle the growing problem. Research suggests that 1 in 5 children aged 6-13 have received abusive text messages.

The Orange anti-bullying programme offers secondary schools a 10-minute film highlighting the issue of mobile phone bullying plus classroom activities designed to discuss the issue. The film also offers students practical advice on what they can do about mobile bullying.

Orange says it has launched the anti-bullying programme in response to demand from schools, parents and children for more information on how to deal with this growing problem.

Government action

"Cyber bullying is something we take very seriously. In many ways it can actually be worse than other forms of bullying because it can follow you wherever you go, making it particularly insidious," commented Jim Knight MP, Minister for Schools.

"It's important that young people realise that it can be stopped. I urge any young person who receives malicious texts or emails, or any other form of electronic bullying, to report it to their teacher immediately."

The Minister said the government would soon be issuing schools with guidance to deal with the problem. It will be working with mobile phone companies to see what they can do to tackle mobile bullying.

Teachers can order the Orange film by calling 01634 729826 or by emailing incomingmessage@education.co.uk with their name, school name, and address. More information on the film is available at www.orange.co.uk/education.