The Ombudsman for Children launched “Use Your Head”: 'Children tell me that schools should be fined'

When the ombudsman for children, Anne Lindboe, launched the 12th season of “Use Your Head” earlier today, she said that schools, teachers, pupils and parents must work harder to fight bullying.

(Fornebu, 28 January 2015): When the ombudsman for children, Anne Lindboe, launched the 12th season of “Use Your Head” earlier today, she said that schools, teachers, pupils and parents must work harder to fight bullying. 'Children tell me that schools that don't do anything about bullying should be fined,' she said.

“Use Your Head” is Norway's biggest anti-bullying programme for children and young people. Telenor, the Norwegian Red Cross, the Norwegian Media Authority, and Kids and Media are cooperating to fight cyber bullying via a nationwide tour of schools aiming to improve dialogue between young people and adults.

The ombudsman for children, Anne Lindboe, launched the twelfth season of “Use Your Head” earlier today at Hundsund lower secondary school. In her speech, Lindboe referred to the ombudsman for children's input into the Djupedal committee - an expert group comprising 22 children who have provided specific advice to politicians with proposals for strong sanctions against schools and headteachers. She also urged all schools, teachers, pupils and parents to acquire more knowledge so that everyone is in a position to recognise and fight bullying, and especially cyber bullying.

'Bullying online is just as dangerous as violence. We receive a new bullying case at the ombudsman for children every single day. There are still too many children and pupils who are being subjected to this. 2015 should be the year we say no to cyber bullying,' said the ombudsman for children to an audience of more than 200 lower secondary school pupils.

Need to develop digital judgement

In the autumn of 2012, Hundsund lower secondary school on the Fornebu peninsula in the municipality of Bærum became the first technology school for young people in Norway. The school focuses on thematic teaching with particular attention given to technology and innovative, educational use of digital tools.

'You are the future technologists and engineers that we will need at companies like Telenor. But it's important that you also learn to think through what you do online and how it affects others. I'm delighted that your headteacher has invited “Use Your Head” here today, so that we can talk together about the challenges we experience in our digital everyday lives. And I'm also very pleased that your own ombudsman, the ombudsman for children, is playing a clear role in anti-bullying work by letting you children and young people be present and heard,' said Torild Uribarri, Director of Communications and Community Relationships at Telenor, to the pupils.

Good - but still room for improvement

Since “Use Your Head” started in 2009, 550 schools have been visited and 166,000 pupils and 33,000 parents have experienced the “Use Your Head” presentation. Seven out of ten children say that thanks to the programme they have been given the knowledge they need to deal with cyber bullying. However, 13 per cent are still bullied online.

'We receive daily inquiries about bullying. Often young people don't know what opportunities they have to improve things. “Use Your Head” helps give children crucial knowledge about what they can do themselves if they experience something unpleasant on the Internet, which is why the campaign is so important,' says Nelli Kongshaug, Project Manager for the Norwegian Red Cross' counselling service "Kors på halsen" [Cross my heart].

Another “Use Your Head” partner, the Norwegian Media Authority, also emphasises the importance of measures that increase awareness of this challenge.

'All joint anti-bullying measures are important. Bullying and harassment can lead to reduced self-confidence, and in many cases cause long-term harm. With “Use Your Head”, we hope we are helping more people to speak out, and not least that more schools and homes are working with this topic on an ongoing basis,' says Senior Advisor the Norwegian Media Authority, Thomas Haugan-Hepsø.

Parents must log on

Parents in particular are an important target group because there are many parents who lack knowledge about how they can help to avoid and prevent cyber bullying. The Norwegian Media Authority's "Children and Media" study shows that just 4 out of 10 children perceive their parents to be very interested in what they have done or seen on the Internet.

'Parents must spend more time actively involving themselves in their children's lives online.By showing an interest and "logging on" we can acquire more knowledge and play a more active role in the digital lives of our children,' says Kjellaug Tønnessen, Advisor at Kids and Media.

For further information, please contact:

Ana Brodtkorb, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Telenor, Tel. 902 09 832, or Email: Caroline Vamnes, Communications Advisor in the Norwegian Red Cross, Tel: +47 91 99 09 99,

Thomas Haugan-Hepsø, Senior Advisor for the Norwegian Media Authority's 'Trygg bruk' project: Tel.: 976 64 491 , Kjellaug Tonheim Tønnesen, Advisor at Kids and Media, Tel. 47474345, or email:

Also for more information.