Anti-bullying week across the country

Lee Kane, Regional Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and Translink's Ursula Henderson are joined by Jack Ringland (9) and fellow students from Largymore Primary School, Lisburn to launch Anti-Bullying Week 2015 (16-20 November 2015). Photographer William Cherry / Press Eye

Lee Kane, Regional Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and Translink's Ursula Henderson are joined by Jack Ringland (9) and fellow students from Largymore Primary School, Lisburn to launch Anti-Bullying Week 2015 (16-20 November 2015). Photographer William Cherry / Press Eye

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Largymore Primary School, Lisburn, is just one of more than 800 schools and youth groups across Northern Ireland that is taking part in this year’s Anti-Bullying Week from Monday 16th to Friday 20th November.

Gillian Dunlop, Principal, explains why it is such an important week for the school.

She said: “At Largymore Primary School we are looking forward to using the fabulous NIABF resources to highlight what bullying is and how we can deal with it.

“The whole week gives our whole school, including management, teachers and pupils the opportunity to focus on reinforcing the anti-bullying message across the entire school community.”

This year’s theme is ‘What bullying means to me’ and schools are being encouraged to explore with the young people they work with their individual and collective understanding of what bullying means.

This is in anticipation of proposed legislation that will propose a single definition of bullying for use in all schools.

The legislation, which is expected to come before the Assembly in the coming months, follows a public consultation in January and February 2015.

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

Dr Noel Purdy, Chair of Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF), said: “Last year the Minister for Education announced plans to introduce new anti-bullying legislation to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The associated consultation process received almost 5,000 responses, more than 85% of which were from young people. Among other moves, this legislation aims to provide a single, common definition of bullying for use in all schools in Northern Ireland.

Anti-Bullying Week is once again supported by Translink. Anti-bullying messages will be reinforced on posters in train and bus stations across Northern Ireland.