We’re better without bullying

A new film about cyber bullying, a website tackling alcohol misuse and a campaign to tackle racist abuse all form part of Liverpool’s programme for Anti-Bullying Week.

The week, from 19 to 23 November is coordinated nationally by the Anti-bullying Alliance. This year’s theme is “We’re better without bullying” and aims to shine a light on how bullying undermines young people’s achievement, whether it be at school, in sport or extra-curricular activities.

“Every young person should be able to live their lives without the fear of being bullied,” said Councillor Jane Corbett, cabinet member for children’s services.

“Anti-Bullying Week is an excellent opportunity for school, colleges and young people’s clubs and organisations to take a stand against bullying in all its forms so that our young people can fulfil their true potential.”

In Liverpool, the Ariel Trust will be working with a group of young people to produce a short, minute film, about cyber bullying. This project will be the first step in consulting young people about their key concerns and experiences on this issue. It will be the first step in developing a new software package that focuses on the impact of cyber bullying for young people.

Cyber bullying will also be the focus of debates in the schools parliaments after it was identified as a growing concern. They will be looking at the fact that the Canadian Parliament is considering making cyber bulling a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment.

Throughout the week Bullybusters are supporting Liverpool schools at assemblies and in lessons.

The Liverpool Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Partnership has supported a competition engaging schools in World Mental Health Day in which young people were asked to get creative with the theme of cyber-bullying. Poems, artwork, drama and songs will be displayed at Merseyside Youth Association HQ on Monday 19 November in an exhibition to mark the start of Anti-Bullying week. There will be other activities happening including sport, dance, music, art activities and games and a CAMHS marketplace. One of MTV’s Best Upcoming Bands, local band MiCLowry, will be headlining the event, and Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Gary Millar, will be announcing the winners of the competition.

Bullybusters are also hosting an event at Liverpool Water Sports Centre working with a group of young people from Merseyside focusing on Olympic Values.

Throughout the week, the city’s ground-breaking It’s Not OK violence prevention education programme, which was originally developed as part of Liverpool’s 2008 Creative communities programme, will be holding events. Highlights include:

  • The Terriers Play, which has an anti gang and gun violence message, being shown in a number of schools
  • A new website to help tackle bullying associated with alcohol misuse is being launched. This brand new resource, under the Plastered 2 initiative will be made available to every school in Liverpool. Every Liverpool secondary school will be contacted to promote the resource to teachers and engage them in its use
  • A campaign to tackle racist bullying will run during the week to encourage schools to use the Senseless resource; reminding schools of its content, ensuring all schools have copies and providing support to teachers to enable them to start using the programme. This campaign will also include workshops and presentations as part of the Liverpool School’s Parliament meetings.
  • White Ribbon Day, 25 November. Following on from the anti bullying week activity, White Ribbon Day provides an opportunity to remind schools about the Face Up resource, which explores young people’s relationships and domestic abuse.
  • Replay. The anti bullying activity is also supported by an EU project called Replay. This project involves a number of European partner cities, including Liverpool. It is designed to look at best practice around play and relaxation in the context of the UN convention on the Rights of the Child.

The annual bullying audit – and online survey – will be promoted to schools and youth organisations to enable year-on-year comparisons of the extent of the problem to be made.   It can be accessed by clicking on: www.snapsurveys.com/swh/surveylogin.asp?k=135220984508