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Ruane supports anti-bullying week

16 November, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

Welcoming the start of a week of various activities and campaigning against bullying, Caitríona Ruane said: “This year’s challenging theme is a reminder to us all that bullying is not only an issue for our schools. Bullying can rear its ugly head in many forms such as racist, homophobic, gender or cyberbullying. No matter what form it takes, or the reason behind it, bullying is not, and never will be, acceptable in our schools. Nor can it be tolerated in our society as a whole. Schools have a responsibility to keep their pupils safe from harm and provide a secure learning environment, but who is responsible once pupils are outside the school gate?

“We must all accept our individual roles in tackling this important issue which can have such a devastating impact on the lives of our children and young people. Only by working together can schools, parents, transport providers and everyone in our community, help to ensure that one less child wakes up on a school day with anticipation and fear.”

The Minister continued: “The experience of learning at school, and indeed that of just being a child, should be a stimulating and rewarding time. We must not allow that experience to become thwarted through the presence of bullying.

“We have seen the disastrous effects of bullying on our young people and must continue to work to seek more ways to prevent bullying, and to do more to support those that have suffered as victims. We need to actively listen to their concerns, encourage young people to have their say and ensure effective support mechanisms are in place when professional help is needed.

“We are all responsible for our young people, we as friends, as parents and carers, as teachers and as policy makers. I hope this week’s campaign will raise the profile and dangers of bullying in the minds of all.”

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