St Pius pupils test out new app tackling bullying

If you or anyone you know has been bullied, then you will understand how distressing this can be and how the person’s whole life can be affected.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 10:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 11:16 am

The vast majority of bullying amongst young people goes unreported and students and staff at St Pius X College in Magherafelt have been involved in a project to tackle this head on.

They have been testing a new app which aims to remove the barriers that young people experience when reporting bullying and cyberbullying.

Vice-principal, Mrs Edwina Toner, said: “Bullying can have a devastating effect on a young person’s wellbeing, mental health and academic performance.

Mrs Edwina Toner, Vice-Principal Mrs Irene McCann, Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator Mr John Devlin, Form Teacher, Mr Aaron Ball, Co-Founder of CyberSyd with CyberSyd student pilot prizewinners.
Mrs Edwina Toner, Vice-Principal Mrs Irene McCann, Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator Mr John Devlin, Form Teacher, Mr Aaron Ball, Co-Founder of CyberSyd with CyberSyd student pilot prizewinners.

However, students who are being bullied may be unsure of who to speak to, they may not feel comfortable enough to approach an adult or they may not want to be seen to report the bullying.”

The CyberSyd app allows young people to report bullying easily and confidentially from anywhere and at any time.

It has been created by the founders of a Northern Ireland social enterprise and is the first of its kind.

The feedback provided by the school will be used to complete the app in time for its September launch.

Mr John Devlin, Form Teacher St Pius X Students who piloted CyberSyd Mr Aaron Ball, Co-Founder of CyberSyd.

One student tester said: “Syd made me feel that everything was going to be OK. This will really help someone if they feel alone.”

The developers of the app have awarded three St Pius X students with Amazon vouchers in appreciation of the detailed feedback that they provided.

Co-Founder of the app, Aaron Ball, said: “The valuable feedback provided by the students and staff of St Pius X will allow us to improve the experience that it provides for young people. We couldn’t have achieved this without their support.”

September sees the introduction of new anti-bullying legislation in Northern Ireland’s schools which introduces statutory responsibilities to prevent and record bullying.

More information on how this will affect teachers and governors as well as information about the new app can be found at www.cybersyd.net

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