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Action Plan on Bullying launched

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 05:46 PM

Minster for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn today launched Ireland's first ever national plan to tackle bullying. The Action Plan on Bullying sets out 12 clear actions on how to prevent and tackle bullying. Recognising the many forms and places that bullying can exist, this plan resolves to tackle bullying in a multifaceted approach, working together with all parties to find a common solution.

[Download Action Plan for Bullying]

Speaking at the launch, Minister Quinn said, "Bullying can have a devastating effect on our children and young people that can sometimes end in tragedy. That is why this Action Plan is so important. I broadly accept the proposed actions and now want to see implementation begin immediately, alongside other related initiatives, including the new Well-Being in Post-Primary Schools: Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention (2013) which I will launch later this week."

[Check out Minister Quinn's statement in our media centre.]

Outlining the 12 actions, Deputy Arthur Spring said," The working group has proposed 12 key actions including the establishment of a new national anti-bullying website, support for a media campaign focused on cyber bullying, research on prevalence and impact of bullying linked to social media to be facilitated by the National Suicide Prevention Office and coordinated training and resource development for boards of management and parents.

[Check out Deputy Spring's statement in our media centre.]

Welcoming the rollout of the new national anti-bullying procedures across all schools, former teacher Senator Mary Moran said," The whole issue of bullying, and in particular bullying in schools, has become a matter of increasing concern for young people, their parents and their teachers, and this is the first time that a major plan has been put in place to tackle it. Many schools have been doing excellent work in highlighting and dealing with bullying over recent years, but it is clear that the approach must be more focused and that schools need more assistance and direction." (We spoke to Senator Moran about today's launch which you can watch from the accompanying video.)

[Check out Senator Moran's statement in our media centre.]

Noting the €500,000 allocation from the Department of Education to fund anti-bullying projects, Dublin TD John Lyons also welcomed the multi-stakeholder approach to resolving and preventing bullying issues.

"The allocation of €500,000 for 2013 to support the plan is welcome but the strength of community buy-in to create a culture of respect and tolerance is as important as the financial allocation. An example of this is Trinity Comprehensive secondary school in Ballymun which aims to maximise local community involvement at all levels in its upcoming Anti-Bullying Week."

[Check out Deputy Lyon's statement in our media centre.]

Deputy Joanna Tuffy also welcomed news that the 'Stay Safe Programme' in primary schools is also set to be modernised.

"I also welcome news that the Stay Safe Programme for primary schools is also to be updated in line with these new recommendations. Taking stock of new forms of risks such as cyber bullying, it too is to be updated so young children can be better protected in the face of a bullying threat. "

[Check out Deputy Tuffy's statement in our media centre.]

Welcoming the National Anti-Bullying Coalition's involvement in drawing up the plan, Deputy Gerald Nash said: "I have hosted the NABC in the Dail several times and in their presentations to members they have brought home to us the horrendous human cost of bullying. No one who has heard the first hand testimony of people like Jeremy Prince or Jonathan Pugsley, who lost their children to suicide, could be in any doubt about the need to strengthen the protection available to our children both in and out of school."

[Check out Deputy Nash's statement in our media centre.]

[Download Action Plan for Bullying]

Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin also welcomed the plan's focus on tackling homophobia, including the blanket ban of homophobic language in schools. Speaking on the news that new media campaigns will be initiated to raise awareness of bullying, he said," I welcome the decision by the Minister Quinn to offer financial support to several anti-bullying initiatives, including Belong 2's ' Stand Up ' campaign, as this demonstrates his commitment to making a serious and practical effort at targeting bullying and intimidation."

[Check out Deputy ÓRiordain's statement in our media centre.]

[Download Action Plan for Bullying]

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