Police uncover teenage girl ‘suicide’ Instagram group 

    • Social media groups involving teenage girls that led to “suicidal crises” and “serious self-harm” have been uncovered by police, BBC News has learned. 
    • Twelve girls, aged between 12 and 16 years old and from across southern England, were part of an Instagram chat group whose name refers to suicide. 
    • The group was discovered when three of the girls went missing and were found seriously unwell in London. 
    • Instagram says it found no suicide or self-harm related content in the group.
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    • To learn more about technology and self-harm, read our recent article here



      Lawmakers press Instagram for details regarding child friendly version  

      • A group of Democratic lawmakers in the US wrote to Mark Zuckerberg this week to press the CEO on his plans to curate a version of Instagram for children.  
      • In a hearing last month, Zuckerberg confirmed reporting by BuzzFeed that the company was exploring an age-gated version of its app designed for young users. 
      • Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) signed the letter, expressing “serious concerns” about the company’s ability to protect the privacy and well-being of young users. 
      • “Facebook has an obligation to ensure that any new platforms or projects targeting children put those users’ welfare first, and we are sceptical that Facebook is prepared to fulfil this obligation,” the lawmakers wrote.
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      22 year old women jailed for role in County Lines operation  

      • A “vulnerable” 22-year-old woman from London has been jailed for 15 months for her part in a “county lines” operation dealing drugs in the Highlands. 
      • The girl was accused of supplying cocaine and heroin from a house in Oldtown Road, Inverness, where drugs valued at £1260 were confiscated by police.
      • The women’s defence solicitor, advocate Neil Wilson, told Inverness Sheriff Court that his client “was a long way from her home in London and is a vulnerable person” and that “she was a small cog in the wheel and was assaulted by others who held her responsible for their loss. So she is a victim as well.”
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      • To learn more about County Lines, read our recent article here.  


          Teachers dealing with sexualised comments and threats of violence from pupils 

          • Teachers often face “derogatory sexualised” language, violence and threats from pupils in the classroom, a union conference has heard. 
          • The NASUWT conference condemned schools and colleges that claim “unacceptable” student behaviour is “part of the job”. 
          • A survey of over 4,700 union members found 38% of teachers had been verbally abused, and 10% threatened with violence. 
          • “We need to reclaim our classrooms, but we cannot do it alone,” said NASUWT executive member Wendy Exton.
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          UK Government appoints regulator for big tech 

          • A new regulator aiming to curb the dominance of tech giants has begun operating in the UK. 
          • The Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will begin by creating new codes of conduct for companies such as Facebook and Google and their relationship with content providers and advertisers. 
          • The new unit will be based inside the Competition and Markets Authority. 
          • Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Today is a major milestone on the path to creating the world’s most competitive online markets, with consumers, entrepreneurs and content publishers at their heart.”
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            School has been a ‘lifeline to many students’ in past year 

            • School staff have been giving clothing, food and furnishings to families that have been struggling financially in the coronavirus pandemic, teachers say. 
            • Some pupils have gone to school without winter coats, while others have been worried about having enough to eat, a National Education Union poll suggests. 
            • The Department for Education says it has invested £2bn to help pupils in England in the wake of the pandemic. 
            • The NEU surveyed 10,696 members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in March and concluded that schools and colleges had been a “lifeline” to many disadvantaged students during the past year, the NEU said.
            • For the full story, select here.