Source Pravda.Ru

YouTube website banned in Australian schools over cyberbullying

An Australian state has banned the online video Web site YouTube from government schools in a crackdown on cyber-bullying, a minister said Thursday.

Victoria, Australia's second most populous state, has banned the popular video-sharing site from its 1,600 government schools after a gang of male school students videotaped their degrading assault on a 17-year-old girl on the outskirts of the state capital of Melbourne.

The assault, which is being investigated by police, was uploaded on YouTube late last year.

Education Services Minister Jacinta Allan said the schools and their internet service providers already filtered the Web sites that were available to students and YouTube had been added to a list of blocked sites, the AP reports.

The state government "has never tolerated bullying in schools and this zero tolerance approach extends to the online world," Allan said.

"All students have the right to learn in a safe and supportive learning environment - this includes making students' experience of the virtual world of learning as safe and productive as possible," she said.

YouTube is a free video-sharing site that lets users upload, view, and share video clips.

A recent poll of 650 school students by the University of Melbourne's education faculty found 32 percent of those aged 12 to 17 reported being victims of cyber-bullying, the Herald Sun newspaper reported Thursday.

Girls were 2 1/2 times more likely than boys to be victims, the newspaper said.

A copy of the study was not immediately available.

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