Pupils are being asked to sign an anti-bullying pledge and learn how to cope with unacceptable behaviour in school and also online.
The ‘Bullying in a Cyber World’ initiative, aimed at primary schools, was launched yesterday.
The project will include teachers receiving sample bullying reports for their files and a separate child form so they can accurately record who and what was involved in any incident.
The ground-breaking enterprise has been developed by Wexford company Prim-Ed Publishing and targets children as young as four years old. It shows them, using child-focused and age-appropriate words, pictures, and passages of text, how to deal with and prevent bullying.
The project advises children what to say to bullies and helps them identify peers and adults in whom they can confide, according to Prim-Ed. The resource also includes an internet safety checklist for children, and a cyber-safety checklist for parents and guardians.
The initiative has been commended by bullying expert Marion Flanagan from Trinity College Dublin. “If we’re serious about implementing the Action Plan on Bullying, these cyber-bullying resources should be in all our schools,” she said.
Ms Flanagan said cyber-bulling is now “a modern scourge” in society. “Prim-Ed’s posters and books have become a must for every school in the country.”
According to managing director Seamus McGuinness, recent high-profile cases highlighted the need for schools to have the tools to combat and deal with such behaviour. “The negative effects of childhood bullying can remain with both the bully and his or her targets into adulthood. Everyone, child and adult, should be free to live without the fear of emotional abuse which bullying engenders.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved