College stands up against online abuse

Principal Yiannis Koursis with Students' Union President, Bethanie Jacobs.

At Barnsley College, we are committed to ensuring our students and staff are kept safe whilst studying and working with us. In order to make sure this safety pledge is kept up-to-date, the College is working in partnership with Barnsley Council as they launch the No Place for Hate campaign.

Launched earlier in the year, this initiative helps to take a stance on stopping online abuse across the borough. By working with the Council on this initiative, we can do our bit to ensure Barnsley remains the place of possibilities where nobody faces abuse online or in their community.

Whilst digital platforms like social media are a fantastic tool for connecting people and learning more, it is important to recognise that they are also often platforms for intimidation, disinformation and hate speech.

The No Place for Hate campaign reminds students and staff at Barnsley College that words have meaning and highlights the affect they can have on others when used to comment or post online particularly in emotionally-fuelled moments.

We are asking students and staff to think before they click post, consider the effect that their actions could have on others and challenge or report online abuse when they see it.

Students at College are working with the SEND Youth Forum within Barnsley Youth Council to make Barnsley’s young people aware that violence against someone because they are disabled is a hate crime and have also been working with Leaders Unlocked through the Students’ Union Student Commission on Racial Justice. Activities like this are a fantastic way for students to learn about initiatives within the community and find out more about how they can make a change to their generation.

Jess Lovatt, Student Voice Advisor at College, said: “Young people know what would make the most difference to them and their peers, so involving them in these conversations can help us to understand what life is like for young people in Barnsley and how we can help to improve their quality of life.”

To really make a difference, we need all of Barnsley’s residents, organisations and community groups to show a united stance against hate and abuse in our borough. If you would like to get involved and pledge your support, you can visit the Council’s support form.

Last updated: 28th October 2021

Originally posted on: 28th October 2021