Principals welcome anti-bullying and online safety training in post-primary schools

The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals have welcomed an anti-bullying and online safety training programme that will be offered to every post-primary school in Ireland.

The programme, supported by Facebook and developed by the National Anti-bullying Centre (ABC) at Dublin City University, will begin in January next year.

Leah Sheridan 15yrs, from Kylemore College Ballyfermot with fellow students Adam Hogan 15yrs Aoife Stanley 14yrs, Dlyan Keating 15yrs and Zoe O Reilly pictured Facebook and the National Anti-Bulying Centre DUC announcement a partnership. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

School principals told ABC they don't have enough time or resources to teach teachers how to handle the issue.

ABC director, Prof James O'Higgins, said the research-based programme would help teachers to develop the skills to support students experiencing bullying, particularly cyberbullying.

"Knowledge is power and initiatives like this can put the power back into the hands of teachers, parents and students to stop bullying," said NAPD director Clive Byrne.

Upon completion of this programme, parents and teachers will be able to:

  • Define and identify bullying, cyberbullying, and online safety;
  • Engage empathically with children and young people;
  • Investigate and resolve reported incidents;
  • Teach children and adolescents how to nurture respectful relationships, and develop better communication skills offline and online; and
  • Support colleagues in strengthening their abilities to educate young people about bullying, cyberbullying, and online safety.

Julie de Bailliencourt, Facebook Global Safety Policy Manager commented: “We are delighted to support the work of the National Anti-Bullying Centre through this partnership.

"Making sure people feel safe when they come to Facebook is our most important responsibility, especially when it comes to young people.

"Through partnerships like this one, we know we can all better tackle the issue of bullying, whether offline or online."

By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner Reporter

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