Bullying Awareness Launch Directed At Tipperary Schools

bullyBeing bullied, particularly as a teenager, can quite literally last the lifetime of any affected individual, through their sense of not belonging, their self-esteem and even their future mental health.

This week the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) have launched their second anti-bullying awareness campaign, highlighting the full effects of bullying, and in particular the more modern concept experienced via users of social media sites like Facebook.

This ISPCC awareness campaign offers a new ‘Text Service,‘ available to children who experience this kind of cowardly & unacceptable behaviour, usually carried out by anonymous individuals or groups. This awareness campaign is part of ISPCC’s now annual ‘Shield Campaign,’ to raise full awareness and indeed funding around this ever increasing problem which reveals that 1-in-4 young people, to-date, have either experienced or know someone who is the present target of such anti-social media behaviour.

In 2012, Child-line claim to have received over 2,000 calls every day, with many of these verbal communications solely related to bullying and with all distressed callers desperately seeking solutions on how to escape their tormentors.

A number of new initiatives on cyber bullying (shown hereunder) are highlighted in this year’s ISPCC campaign and all are to be welcomed, particularly by school Boards of Management members, principals and teachers.

Teenagers & Parents please Note:
(1) A new dedicated ‘Online Bullying Support Service,’ – By texting the word ‘bully’ to 50101, children and young people can access real-time support from 2:00pm -10:00pm, Monday to Sunday. The ISPCC have also announced the appointment of a full time ‘Bullying Co-ordinator,’ to support both schools and parents, in relation to bullying.

(2) ‘Shield My School Programme,’ – The charity has designed a comprehensive self evaluation tool to assist schools to understand and reflect on how effective they currently are in tackling bullying. Download School Toolkit HERE

ISPCC report that they are working on a joint project with Facebook. Ireland’s Facebook Policy Director Mr Simon Milner supports a culture of accountability, where people report bullying and stand up for each other. Mr Milner welcomes the ISPPC’s ‘I’m Standing up against bullying, are you?’ campaign and confirms the joint working project with ISPCC is to assist in developing an anti-bullying culture here in Ireland on Facebook. He further expects to announce news on this, their joint initiative, later this year.

Representatives from Twitter and Facebook have been defending themselves before an Oireachtas Committee today. The Communications Committee is examining the irresponsible use of social media and links to cyber bullying.


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