O’Brien calls on government to enact anti-bullying legislation as children return to schools today
January 7, 2013
Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called on the government to provide time in the Dáil to enact legislation which he has published to provide a legal footing to the existing guidelines that are used by schools when addressing incidents of bullying.
The Cork North Central TD was speaking today as children around the country returned to school after the Christmas and New Year break.
“Bullying in schools is a serious and growing problem that greatly impacts on the mental well-being and physical health of pupils and teachers alike. The government needs to provide time to enact Sinn Féin’s Bill that if enacted will greatly strengthen the existing legislation and help schools better deal with the issue.
“Bullying is a complex and difficult problem that can manifest itself in many different ways and inflict long lasting scars on its victims. At its worst, the physical and psychological damage to an individual can, as we have sadly seen in recent months, be a significant factor that leads to self-harm and/or death by suicide.
“We can no longer therefore, pay lip service to what is happening and we need to strengthen the laws so schools are better equipped to deal with this issue.”