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September 28, 2023

Gardaí investigate if schoolgirl (14) died after taking part in ‘TikTok challenge’

  • Gardaí are investigating if a teenage girl has died after taking part in a viral social media ‘challenge’.
  • The 14-year-old took ill over the weekend and was rushed to a Dublin hospital.
  • It was believed she became very ill after inhaling aerosol after seeing a ‘challenge’ on TikTok.
  • The trend is commonly known as ‘chroming’.
  • She was pronounced dead on Monday morning and an investigation is taking place.
  • TikTok has said in a statement that their sympathies are with the family and content of this nature is “prohibited” on their platform and “will be removed if found’.
  • For more please visit the Independent’s website.

UK and US pledge to combat AI-generated images of child abuse

  • The US and UK have committed to developing and funding new capabilities to prevent the spread of AI-generated images of children.
  • The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman travelled to Washington this week, where she visited the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the US-based child protection organisation.
  • The NCMEC’s work includes reporting online child sexual abuse cases to global law enforcement agencies.
  • The two countries have issued a joint statement pledging to work together to innovate and explore development of new solutions to fight the spread of this imagery and have called other nations to join them.
  • The Home Secretary’s visit comes a week after launching a campaign calling on Meta not to roll out end-to-end encryption on its platforms without robust safety measures to ensure children are protected from sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • The UK Government looks forward to collaboration with tech company leaders. Industry experts and other nations in ensuring the safe use of technology.
  • For more, please visit the UK Government website.

Our Covid-19 Inquiry Report

  • Save the Children have released a report in partnership with the Children’s Rights Alliance for England and Just for Kids Law and backed by the former Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield.
  • The report found that there are clear lessons to be learned and better systems put in place to protect children if a pandemic was to occur again.
  • They conclude that the loss of children’s freedoms could have been prevented if political leaders had better considered children’s rights and views.
  • They recommend that the UK Government to appoint a cabinet minister for Children and Young People, and make sure in times of crisis they are involved in key decisions.
  • The report further provides recommendations that the government should pass a law to make schools “essential infrastructure”, so MPs have more oversight before any closures.
  • Lastly, they state that the government should properly fund a Children’s Recovery Plan to tackle the long-term effects on children’s social, emotional and educational needs.
  • For more, please visit the Save the Children website.

The following stories may be regionalised:

Horror as 15-year-old girl fatally stabbed on her way to school

  • A 15-year-old girl died after being stabbed in the neck with a foot-long knife in Croydon.
  • Members of the public rushed to help the girl who was attacked.
  • A 17-year-old boy who knew the victim has been arrested and is known to the local community groups for the last couple of years.
  • Both the land and air ambulance attended, but she was pronounced dead at the scene 50 minutes later.
  • Witnesses, or anyone with information have been asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference CAD 1601/27Sep, and to remain anonymous can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online.
  • For more, please visit the Independent website.

School: One in six secondary pupils regularly absent in Wales

  • Welsh Government data suggests that around one in six secondary school pupils in Wales are persistently absent from school.
  • The data suggests that 16.3% of pupils aged between 11-5 were persistently absent between 2022-23.
  • 35.7% of those absent were pupils who are eligible free school meals.
  • Persistent absence is defined as missing 20% of the most common required sessions.
  • Overall levels of absence, based on missed half-day sessions have also doubled in number.
  • Association of School and College Leaders Cymru dubbed the statistics “shocking” but felt many within the profession would not be surprised.
  • Welsh Conservative education spokeswoman Laura Anne Jones urged Welsh Ministers to come up with a detailed plan to address the rise in school absenteeism.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.