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Anti-Bullying Week underway in Wales

16/11/2011 Joanna
Primary and secondary teachers in Welsh schools are taking part in an anti-bullying campaign this week.

As part of Anti-Bullying Week, hundred of activities are occurring across Wales designed to help children and young people learn about the damaging effects of bullying while encouraging them to support people being bullied.

Schools and organisations across Wales are involved in the week-long programme, with pupils, parents, teachers and other professionals taking part to share their experiences and learn from each other's practices.

Leighton Andrews, the Welsh Education Minister, said: "Anti-Bullying Week is an ideal opportunity for professionals, parents and students to share best practice and learn from each others’ experiences."

The government has published a new guide, Respecting Others, which identifies five different kinds of bullying while providing advice on how to deal with them.

One of the areas of bullying highlighted by Respecting Others is cyberbullying, a prominent issue today with the vast majority of young people carrying mobile phones and spending time on online social networks.

Cyberbullying is a focus for Anti-Bullying Week, with Dr Melanie Ackers and Michael Duke from Denbighshire County Council’s Educational Psychology Service conducting workshops on the issue with groups including social workers, teachers, parents and pupils.

Discussing the workshops, Mr Duke said: "Young people are not always aware that sending a malicious text message – even anonymously – could result in a criminal conviction, so it’s important that they’re aware of the seriousness of cyberbullying."

While many young people understand new technologies, this knowledge is not always shared by parents and school staff so it is important to educate them about cyberbullying, he added.

One school in Cardiff has already been congratulated on its anti-bullying initiatives.

Radyr High School has been working to combat homophobic attitudes and bullying since 2008, and their commendable work as a Stonewall Cymru Education Champion has led to several students gaining the confidence to come out.

The education minister celebrated the school for its "truly inspiring" work.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801212911-ADNFCR
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