When is bullying a necessary evil?

Cell phones are often a necessary evil for parents

What does my child actually do with the cell phone? Many parents simply don't know the answer to this question. The platform handywissen.at has been by your side with advice and action for years. This year's study shows that children and adolescents - to reassure their parents - still do one thing above all with their mobile phones: make calls.

Cyber ​​bullying and Co.

However, the communication device always provides less pleasant topics of conversation: In addition to the classic controversial topic of cell phone costs, cyber bullying, harassing and insulting over a longer period of time via the Internet or cell phone, which still holds enormous potential for clarification. Concerned parents and schools contact Anton Schmid, a Viennese lawyer for children and adolescents, if legal conflicts have already arisen. He does not know the exact figures on the frequency of cell phone bullying in Austria, but the topic appears again and again in counseling sessions.

"Happy Slapping"

Especially with girls, there are always cases of harassment via mobile phones, while with boys "happy slapping" dominates, where classmates are beaten and this is documented with the mobile phone camera. Young people are mostly not aware of the criminal consequences of their actions, emphasizes Schmid in the standard conversation. In the event of escalating incidents, he therefore advises seeking external help - for example from the child and youth advocate.

A clarifying conversation

A clarifying discussion with the young people often works wonders in cases that concern the Youth Protection Act (e.g. possession of violent videos on the cell phone). Schmid does not believe that devices such as cell phones and PCs have a negative impact on how young people interact with one another. Children have not become more criminal as a result, bullying and schoolyard brawls have already existed (Alexander Bindeus / DER STANDARD, print edition from 10.9.2009)