British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Dec 05, 2021

Cyberbullying increasing since Covid- School Counsellor

Cyberbullying increasing since Covid- School Counsellor

As the Virgin Islands observe Anti-Bullying Week from Sunday, October 17 to Saturday, October 23, 2021, it has been disclosed that cyberbullying is on the increase in the territory.

Organiser and School Counsellor, Mrs Sharon Leonard said that since the inception of the annual week there has been a decrease in violent acts reported.

“Awareness is helping and we have seen a decrease not only in the schools but in our community. However, there are certain types of bullying that are increasing like cyberbullying especially since Covid,” Mrs Leonard said in a Government Information press release today, October 19, 2021.

Organiser and School Counsellor, Ms Bisa Smith added that the reasoning for the increase in cyberbullying is due to the anonymous nature of the Internet.

“It’s more difficult to get that person to suffer the consequences for their actions because it’s hard to track” she explained.

According to studies, the effect of cyberbullying can be most detrimental to the victim, as they may experience a number of emotional issues that affect their social and academic performance as well as their overall mental health.

Organiser and School Counsellor, Mrs Sharon Leonard said that since the inception of the annual Anti-Bullying Week there has been a decrease in violent acts reported.


‘We must not give up’ fight against bullying- Dr the Hon Wheatley


Anti Bullying Week is being observed under the theme ‘One Kind Word’.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), said, “Unfortunately, in the Virgin Islands we too have had incidents of bullying which have resulted in significant harm to children. Bullying can have a terrible effect on children and their families, and we must not give up in our attempts to combat it, especially now, when children are going through a very tough period in their life.”

He added, “The use of kind words is something that as a community we can all practice. As a response strategy to bullying, it is brilliant. It allows all to engage in a practice that reduces the bullying of children and young people.”

Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), said the Virgin Islands must not give up in attempts to combat bullying, especially now, when children are going through a very tough period in their lives.


Be kind


This week, counsellors across the Territory will be spreading the message of being kind and others are encouraged to do kind acts.

“We want persons ….to be intentional about being kind. A kind gesture, a kind word, a compliment, hold the door for someone so that it doesn’t close on the next person once you walk through. All of those things are examples of how to be a better person. And that is the most important thing any adult can do for a child, to mirror/model the behaviour we want them to exhibit,” Ms Smith said.

Activities for week


The week will be filled with examples of how to be kind as well as different messages that will be shared in the community. The remaining events are as follows:

Tuesday, October 19 – Wear Odd Socks Day & School presentations

Wednesday, October 20 – Words of Kindness Day, Students are encouraged to share kind words to their fellow students.

Thursday, October 21 – Professional Development Day

Friday, October 22 – Mid-Term Break Forum

Saturday, October 23 – Social media video clips

Anti-Bullying Week is being hosted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture in collaboration with the New Horizon Guidance and Counselling Unit and is dedicated to assisting schools in preventing and combating bullying in all forms.

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