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Meet the Lurking Trolls!

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A terrifying band of trolls has arrived in schools and libraries across the Isle of Wight.

Children at Oakfield primary school came face to face with 'Tormentor', the bullying brute!

Luckily the children knew exactly what to do with him, as they'd been enjoying a new book about how to avoid trolls online.

Tormentor and his dastardly chums are the villains in a new book and cartoon series aimed at teaching seven to eleven year-olds how to spot and defeat online foes.

In response to the growing and changing dangers children can face online, The Isle of Wight Safeguarding Children Partnership is launching the Lurking Trolls campaign on the island.

The campaign has been developed and funded jointly by the Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships in the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton. 

The campaign kicked off at Oakfield Primary School in Ryde, when a group of year four children got to meet one of the trolls they had been learning about.  

Schools across the region will use the trolls books, cartoons and accompanying teaching resources to help teach online safety for seven to eleven year-olds.

The Lurking Trolls materials tackle challenging topics including exploitation, radicalisation, anxiety and depression, in a way that is appropriate for the age of the children.  

Characters including 'Tormentor', 'Instarr' and 'Medior' have been created to bring to life important issues like bullying, body image and fake news.

Through the trolls, children can learn to identify potential dangers and what to do if they're worried, upset or confused about something they've come across online.  

Harry (year 4) said: "It tells you not to trust some people online.

"I like this, and it's a really good book." 

Eva (year 4) said: "It will teach us not to bully people online - or ever.

"If we've been bullied online, we can tell our parents." 

The book Peril of the Possessed Pets has been created for schools and libraries and 25,000 free copies are being distributed across the Isle of Wight and Hampshire.

On the Lurking Trolls website children, as well as their parents and carers, can watch troll-tastic cartoons created by Southsea-based animators Rival Animation, listen to narrated troll tales and learn how to stay safe online through fun fact files about eleven different tricky trolls.   

Councillor Debbie Andre, the cabinet member for for children's services at the Isle of Wight Council, said: "The internet should be a fun, safe space for children and young people to explore, engage with friends and learn more about the world around them. 

"But children can sometimes come across things online that are harmful, worrying or confusing.

"So we want them to feel confident in dealing with risks and problems online - and to know how to do things like like speaking to a trusted adult, reporting content and blocking bullies. 

"The Lurking Trolls campaign is a good way to get families talking about online safety.

"These troll characters will also help schools to tackle this important, and sometimes difficult, topic in an entertaining way."   

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