STUDENTS in Littlehampton have been praised for their innovative battle plan to tackle and beat cyber-bullies.
Teenagers from The Littlehampton Academy took part in the inaugural Clear Computing Schools Challenge, this month.
Dozens of students from six schools across Sussex competed to design a new social media network which would help put a stop to cyber-bullies, known as trolls.
The digital whizzes came up with a range of ideas, from creating a programme which would alter expletives and nasty comments and turn them into gibberish, to creating a panic button that would alert a moderator to potential bullying.
The event was organised by Rustington-based Clear Computing and took place at Worthing College.
David Enever, business development manager from the company, said: “Cyber-bullying is a really big problem and one that is very hard to police. We have seen so many reports in the media recently about it so we wanted to see if children could come up with any ideas that could help stop it.
“There were some really imaginative and ingenious ideas. They really impressed us with their enthusiasm and they really understood what the brief was about.”
Each school, made up of two teams, had three hours to come up with their own ideas, which they then pitched in front of a panel of judges.
Both teams from the academy came up with some impressive ideas, making it through to the final against students from Steyning Grammar School.
The teams from the academy then had to pitch their product – a new school-based social media site – to the judges and other competitors.
Their site would allow youngsters at schools to discuss various problems with homework, class work and other school-related problems, in separate groups and forums, that would be monitored regularly.
David added: “They really kept the brief in mind. We wanted to see that they had thought about the design, functionality, finance, security and marketing. They came up with ways that they could fund the site, which was very creative.”
Managing director Barnaby Hall said the day was everything he had hoped for and said he hoped to make it an annual event.