"It's lethal" | Brendan Maher sheds light on cyberbullying

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

04:44 20 Nov 2019

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While Brendan Maher spends the summers challenging and occasionally winning All-Ireland titles, his day job is teaching. That's something he touched on regarding cyberbullying when he spoke in-depth to Off The Ball.

"The biggest change I think is social media and online stuff," the 30-year-old Tipperary star said, comparing his time as a pupil to his current role as a teacher.

"Call it cyberbullying, whatever you want, Snapchat etc."

He confirmed that it's already prevalent even at primary school level. The increased use of mobile phones by children has driven that trend according to the 2019 All-Ireland winner.

"From around fourth class and fifth class, they start to get their mobile phones then," he said.

"You don't actually see [the cyberbullying] which is the hard thing about it. Because it happens outside of school hours and you're not aware of it until something really bad happens.

More Evident

"The next thing, you'll become aware that it's been ongoing for the last couple of months. I'm not saying that happens in our school where we've a great rural school.

"But it is evident across the board and in primary schools, it's become more evident."

As Maher pointed out, bullies have always been an issue in schools. But the nature of it now means there is no escape.

"But you didn't have the online stuff," he continued.

"And the online stuff is lethal. It's like keyboard warriors. You can say really mean things from your phone or your keyboard that you wouldn't dare say to a person's face. And that's the danger of it and that's the risk you have.

"It's very hard to prevent it but that's what you're trying to do. You're trying to encourage an open door policy in the school. So if a child has a problem, that they'll come to you with it so that you can do something about it. The worst case is when the child says nothing and lets it go and go until something bad happens. That's more evident maybe in secondary school. But it does seem to be coming back into the latter years of primary school children now."

You can watch the full interview with Brendan Maher below via our YouTube channel.

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Brendan Maher Cyberbullying Off The Ball Teaching Tipperary

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