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O’Dowd welcomes updated research on bullying in schools

26 October, 2011 - by John O'Dowd

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, today spoke of how schools and communities must work together to tackle bullying.

The Minister commented: “Bullying is unacceptable in our schools, in any form and for any reason. Bullying can have serious consequences for our pupils, thwarting their experience of education. The physical and emotional distress caused by bullying can lead to underachievement, poor attendance and mental health problems with terrible consequences such as eating disorders, self-harm and at worst, suicide.

“This research provides us with further insight into the nature and extent of bullying in our schools and my Department will study the evidence and give careful consideration to the recommendations within the report. I am committed to tackling this issue and to working with schools to find measures to prevent, and deal with, bullying so that our children can feel safe and secure in their school environment.”

The Minister commented: “My Department recognises that we cannot deal with this issue alone – it is necessary to work in close partnership with statutory and voluntary organisations to address bullying in all its forms. It is for this reason that my Department plays an active role in and funds the local Anti-Bullying Forum. In light of emerging issues such as cyber bullying, I would remind schools of the importance of continuously updating their policies, ensuring that pupils and their parents are actively involved.”

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