Tackle school bullying now to ensure children can achieve full potential – Neville

National-Anti Bullying Strategy urgently required for all schools

Children and young people must be taught bullying behaviour is unacceptable

Tackle school bullying now to ensure children can achieve full potential – Neville

National-Anti Bullying Strategy urgently required for all schools

Children and young people must be taught bullying behaviour is unacceptable

Tackling bullying behaviour at school could have a major knock-on effect in preventing such negative behaviour in later life, according to Dan Neville TD, Fine Gael Spokesman on Mental Health.

“Even though anti-bullying strategies have been proven to work very well in the school environment, the Government has failed to introduce a national strategy to combat this destructive behaviour. The introduction of a national strategy for all schools should be acted upon without delay, so that over the next school year a full anti-bullying strategy can be implemented.

“The national strategy could then have the potential to impact positively on many aspects of life, including workplace bullying and anti-social behaviour

“Bullying at school must not be tolerated. We must ensure that children and young people can achieve their school potential without being the target of bullying behaviour.

“In addition, I believe that tackling bullying behaviour at school would have a longer-term positive effect in cutting down on workplace bullying and anti-social behaviour. Ireland has become a more aggressive society in recent years, and one step in our response to this issue should be to challenge bullying and violent behaviour in our schools.

“It is estimated that workplace bullying is costing Irish business up to €3 billion per annum through poor productivity and absenteeism. The children and young people of today will be the workers of tomorrow. They must see that unacceptable bullying behaviour at school is tackled when and where it occurs and should be taught that this behaviour has no place in their schools, or later, in their workplaces.

“We all know that school bullying can have profoundly negative consequences, both in the short and longer term. Children and young people who are the victims of bullying at school often suffer from anxiety and low self esteem, and can become isolated and withdrawn. Bullying can severely affect school performance and, in some tragic cases, incidences of suicide have also been associated with cases of severe bullying.”