Registration for this year’s Anti-Bullying Week 2018, which runs from 12 November 2018, is officially open and schools and youth organisations across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to sign up and take part.
Children and young people are also being asked to showcase their creative talent and use art and movie/performance to create anti-bullying messages for this year’s creative competition. The deadline for registration and competition entries is Friday 28 September 2018.
Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by 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.
The theme for Anti-Bullying Week 2018 is respect. Lee Kane, Regional Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF), discusses:
“The focus of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week campaign is on the theme of respect. We will be encouraging children and young people to think about what respect means to them, what it feels like to be respected and how they show respect to others. Overall, we will be exploring how respect for others can build an anti-bullying culture in our schools and in our communities.
“The creative competition and Anti-Bullying Week provide an important way of highlighting the issue of bullying to schools and the wider community. It helps students to understand the nature and complexities of bullying behaviours and explore ways of promoting the positive messages of anti-bullying.”
Translink has actively supported Anti-Bullying Week for the last 10 years and will once again support this year’s campaign by delivering key messages around the theme of respect in stations, on buses and on trains, as John Thompson, Translink Health and Safety Manager, explains:
“With record numbers of people in Northern Ireland using public transport we want to ensure everyone enjoys safe and secure journeys always respecting fellow passengers and Translink staff.
“As part of our Translink SPIRIT, we always consider the interests of society, putting safety first in everything we do. We transport around 55,000 young people to and from school every day and recognise the positive impact of the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum in supporting pupil development so that respect becomes second nature, ultimately building a more inclusive, welcoming and thriving society.
“Anti-Bullying Week continues to grow every year with more young people getting involved and we’re looking forward to making our contribution by raising awareness about this serious issue, protecting the health and wellbeing of young people, our employees and the wider public right across Northern Ireland.”
Lagan College, Belfast, has already signed up take part in the Anti-Bullying Week 2018 campaign. The school’s Principal, Amanda McNamee, explains why it is such an important week for the school:
“As one of the first integrated schools here, we pride ourselves on our student centered approach, committed to working in partnership to ensure that Lagan College continues to be a happy, caring and inclusive learning community. Fostering a sense of respect in our pupils, both a respect for themselves and respect for others, is a key priority for Lagan College, helping to build a strong anti-bullying culture across the whole school community.
“Anti-Bullying Week gives staff, parents, students, friends and directors the opportunity to reinforce the anti-bullying messages across the school. During the week we use the NIABF resources to highlight what bullying is and how we can deal with it, not only in school but at home, online and in our community.”