Northern Ireland news

Respect at the heart of Anti-Bullying Week

Nawal Abdirahman from Lagan College, which is taking part in Anti-Bullying Week 2018

SCHOOLS and youth organisations are this week encouraging young people to think about what respect means to them.

Anti-Bullying Week is also asking children to understand what it feels like to be respected and how they show respect to others.

More than 600 schools, youth groups and organisations are involved this year.

Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and supported by Translink.

It will be launched at Belfast Harbour Commissioners Office today and will include an awards ceremony to celebrate a creative arts competition. It provided a platform for children to champion anti-bullying messaging and how bullying should be tackled.

Colin Hassard, poet-in-residence for BBC Radio Ulster's Science & Stuff, will recite his new poem Two For Flinching.

"I hope the poem sparks a reaction in the reader or the listener. I'm sure a lot of people will have been in, or perhaps are in, similar situations, either as the victim, the bystander, or the bully. The poem may even inspire people to tell their story," he said.

On Friday there will be a screening of Time to Stand, which aims to help tackle racism and bullying.

NIABF regional coordinator Lee Kane said schools had been provided a resource pack, which includes presentations and workshop plans.

"These resources help students to explore the nature and complexities of bullying behaviours. They are designed to help stimulate conversation and debate, empowering children to know what bullying is; how to spot it and what to do should they or their friends experience bullying," he said.

"As a visual representation of individual support, we are calling on everyone to `wear yellow 4 respect'. It could be a yellow hat, yellow socks or a yellow tie. Perhaps a pair of yellow trousers, a yellow jumper or yellow shoes. Even yellow shoe laces - everything counts."

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