The government wants to "accelerate" on the issue of combating cyberbullying. Invited on franceinfo Monday morning, Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate for Digital Transition and Telecommunications, announced the implementation "from the beginning of the next school year" of an "awareness module" for "all 6th grade students".
It should be taught "in the computer lab", the objective is "to educate students about the risks and good attitudes to adopt online when witnessing or experiencing cyberbullying," he explained. This measure is part of the proposals put forward by Jean-Noël Barrot in a draft law, presented to the Council of Ministers at the beginning of May and which will be examined in July in Parliament.
Contacted by Le Parisien, the ministry has not yet specified the contours of the text: such as the number of annual hours planned for this "awareness" or which teacher will be in charge of it.
"A 360-degree approach"
After the suicide of Lindsay, a 13-year-old schoolgirl who was the victim of daily harassment, there must be "a much stronger awareness of children," responded the minister, recalling that the youngest and women were the most affected. This "module" is part of a "digital passport" currently "tested" and which should therefore be generalized at the beginning of the next school year.
Cyberbullying: "From the beginning of the next school year, all 6th grade students in our country will be provided with a digital passport that will educate them about the risks and good attitudes to adopt online," says Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister of Digital Transition pic.twitter.com/U3XzJSJAJE
— franceinfo (@franceinfo) May 29, 2023
According to a survey by the e-Enfance and Caisse d'Epargne association published in November 2022, more than one in two young adults (between 18 and 25 years old) has already been a victim of cyberbullying. To fight against this scourge, the minister wants "a 360-degree approach", which goes "from awareness to punishment".
A model of sanctions inspired by those against hooliganism?
On the side of the sanction, the minister wants, like what is done for hooligans banned from stadium, "ban those who repeatedly engage in cyberharassment actions". Already considered a crime, online harassment is punishable by up to two years' imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros.
The penalties are more severe if the victim is under 15 years of age. Jean-Noël Barrot demands that the judge can now pronounce "an additional sentence of banishment" to "prohibit the re-registration" of a convicted person on a social network.