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  • Northside West

Students deliver powerful message to bullying forum

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019 8:00am
Students deliver powerful message to bullying forum

Larkin Community College students (l-r): Alex Kennedy, Skye Murtagh, Ilhaan Maxamed and Samsara Silinga at the forum.

Students deliver powerful message to bullying forum

Larkin Community College students (l-r): Alex Kennedy, Skye Murtagh, Ilhaan Maxamed and Samsara Silinga at the forum.

ALMOST 1,000 experts, teachers, parents and policy-makers gathered at Dublin City University in Glasnevin earlier this month to discuss and share ideas on ways to tackle bullying, cyberbullying and online safety.

The three-day Anti-Bullying Forum was organised by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at DCU in an effort to broaden understanding of bullying, harassment, discrimination, ostracism and other forms of degrading treatment and violence among children and teenagers.

Students from Larkin College in Whitehall gave testimonials to the gathering, highlighting how bullying impacts on the lives of young people.

The event, held in partnership with FRIENDS, International Bullying Prevention Association and UNESCO, included contributions from UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Global Head of Safety at Facebook and Instagram, Dr Geoffrey Shannon and EU Parliament Coordinator for children’s Rights, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt.

Director of the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at DCU, James O’Higgins Norman, highlighted the most common forms of bullying that need to be tackled.

“Irish and international research reveals that physical appearance is the most common reason for being bullied, with race, nationality and skin colour the second most common reason,” he added.

“As Ireland welcomes more migrants and people of different ethnicities we need to double our efforts to ensure that our schools continue to be models of best practice when it comes to tackling identity based bullying.”

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills with special responsibility for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, gave the closing address at the forum.

“I feel the very serious work over the last three days here in Dublin will have been enriched by the testimonials that were provided to you by the students from Larkin College,” she said.

“They reminded us all that bullying for some children and young people is an everyday occurrence with devastating consequences.

“The Larkin students’ testimonies highlight the need for the Forum’s work, and the importance of working together as an international community. 

“Together, by sharing expertise and valuable research, we can identify the measures that will reduce the prevalence of bullying behaviour.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor highlighted that both the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy and the Migrant Integration Strategy aim to combat discriminatory behaviours including any form of bullying.

“I am glad that the National Anti-Bullying Research Centre in DCU, with support from the EU and the Department of Education and Skills, is undertaking a number of studies on the bullying experiences of migrants, travellers and Roma children in schools,” she added.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here