Youth groups and schools urged to help beat the bullies
SCHOOLS and youth groups across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to get creative and take part in the ‘Everybody is Somebody’ competition which will support this year’s Anti-Bullying Week (19-23 November 2012).
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 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. This year, Anti-Bullying Week 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.
Schools and youth groups can register to take part through the NIABF website, at www.niabf.org.uk
Registration is free, and will allow access to a wide range of specially created resources, to support the delivery of key anti-bullying messages.
Lee Kane, NIABF’s Regional Anti-Bullying Co-ordinator, urges all teachers and youth leaders to take the opportunity that the creative competition 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.
“Children and young people sometimes experience bullying because someone thinks they’re different, It might be motivated by their gender, their real or perceived sexual orientation, if they have a disability, the colour of their skin, where they come from, their religion, what they look like, if they’re particularly good at sport, or not, or a whole range of different things.
“We’re asking young people to think about how someone may be bullied because of others thinking they’re different, and what they can do to stop it.”
Lee adds: “This year we are encouraging everyone to get involved in this creative competition. 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. As long as it is under 500 words, we’ll read it!”
Further information for young people and competition entry forms can be downloaded from the NIABF website- www.endbullying.org.uk
Deadline for competition entries and for registration for Anti-Bullying Week is Friday 28 September 2012.
This year’s Anti-Bullying Week is once again supported by Translink.
Anti-bullying messages will be disseminated to the public through poster displays at train and bus station.
Welcoming the launch of the competition, Translink’s Ursula Kelleher, said:
“Our buses and trains are used by a wide variety of people and we believe that embracing diversity is a very important life skill that can really enrich pupils’ experiences at school.
“By respecting each other’s differences and valuing alternative perspectives, outlooks and even appearances we are building a more inclusive, friendly and happy school environment.
“We are also ensuring that young people are better equipped to accept diversity when they leave school and enter high education and the workplace,” said Ursula.
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 email@example.com
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