Education news

Respect at the heart of Anti-Bullying Week

Lagan College, Belfast, has already signed up take part

SCHOOLS and youth organisations have just weeks left to submit entries for this year's Anti-Bullying Week creative arts competition.

Young people can create art, movies or performance pierces on the theme of `respect'.

The deadline for entries, and for schools to sign up, is Friday September 28.

Anti-Bullying Week runs from November 12 and is coordinated by Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF).

Lee Kane, NIABF's regional coordinator, said young people were being encouraged to think about what respect means to them, what it feels like to be respected and how they show respect to others.

"Overall, we will be exploring how respect for others can build an anti-bullying culture in our schools and in our communities," he said.

"The creative competition and Anti-Bullying Week provide an important way of highlighting the issue of bullying to schools and the wider community. It helps students to understand the nature and complexities of bullying behaviours and explore ways of promoting the positive messages of anti-bullying."

Lagan College in Belfast is among the schools to have signed up.

Principal Amanda McNamee said, as one of the north's first integrated schools, it prided itself on its student centered approach.

"Fostering a sense of respect in our pupils, both a respect for themselves and respect for others, is a key priority for Lagan College, helping to build a strong anti-bullying culture across the whole school community," she said.

"Anti-Bullying Week gives staff, parents, students, friends and directors the opportunity to reinforce the anti-bullying messages across the school. During the week we use the NIABF resources to highlight what bullying is and how we can deal with it, not only in school but at home, online and in our community."

Translink has actively supported Anti-Bullying Week for the last 10 years.

It will once again support the campaign by delivering key messages around the theme of respect in stations, on buses and on trains.

"We want to ensure everyone enjoys safe and secure journeys always respecting fellow passengers and Translink staff," said health and safety manager John Thompson.

"As part of our Translink SPIRIT, we always consider the interests of society, putting safety first in everything we do. We transport around 55,000 young people to and from school every day and recognise the positive impact of the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum in supporting pupil development so that respect becomes second nature, ultimately building a more inclusive, welcoming and thriving society."

:: To register for, or find out more about, Anti-Bullying Week 2018, visit www.endbullying.org.uk or email info@niabf.org.uk.

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