Schools and youth clubs urged to regiser for Anti-Bullying Week

SCHOOLS and youth groups in Ballymoney and Moyle are being urged to register for this year’s Anti-Bullying Week (19-23November) before Friday 28 September.

Over 600 schools from across Northern Ireland took part in last year’s Anti-Bullying Week. This year schools and youth clubs are also being encouraged to take part in the “Everybody is Somebody” creative competition, the results of which will be showcased during the week long programme of events in November.

Anti-Bullying Week is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and is supported by Translink. NIABF is an interagency group hosted by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) NI and funded by the Department of Education.

Anti-Bullying Week 2012 will focus on bullying based on difference. This could include homophobic, disablist, sectarian or racist bullying, or indeed any way that a young person may experience bullying because they are seen as being different from their peers.

Lee Kane, NIABF’s Regional Anti-Bullying Co-ordinator, urges all teachers and youth leaders to take the opportunity that Anti-Bullying Week presents to talk to young people about respecting difference: “Bullying can cause a great deal of distress and it is important that all young people are aware of the implications of such behaviour. By actively reinforcing anti-bullying messages at every opportunity this creates an environment where it is more difficult for bullying to occur unchallenged.

“In order to actively take part in Anti-Bullying Week 2012, we are urging schools to register online for free at www.endbullying.org.uk before Friday 28 September.

“Once registered, schools will receive a free specially created anti-bullying resource pack, which includes assembly plans, lesson activities and themed posters. Guidance will also be offered on preventative initiatives which can be used as part of an overall anti-bullying strategy.

“We are also encouraging everyone to get involved and submit entries for this year’s creative competition before Friday 28th September. Themed on ‘Everybody is Somebody’, there are two categories - art and creative writing. Within the art category, young people can submit drawings, paintings, sculptures or photographs, while in the creative writing category entries could take the form of poetry, short stories, diaries, songs and drama scripts. It’s up to young people what they write about and how they do it.”

To find out more about the competition or to register your school or community group online for Anti-Bullying Week 2012 log on to www.endbullying.org.uk before Friday 28 September 2012. Alternatively contact Lee Kane, Regional Anti-Bullying Co-ordinator 028 9089 1730 or info@niabf.org.uk