Schools and community organisations have been urged to make combating bullying a year-long campaign, by a local MLA.
UUP’s Jenny Palmer called on the community to make the forthcoming Anti-Bullying Week “a roaring success by making it a year-long campaign”.
Assembly member Mrs Palmer said: “In calling for the community to give its total backing to this very necessary initiative, I also thank the schools and the police in the constituency for all their efforts in stamping out the scourge of bullying - and I certainly pledge our Party’s full support for this worthy campaign.
“Bullying has become one of the great social evils of this new millennium and must be combated head-on in every forum. School bullying especially can never be justified under any circumstances.
“The hard reality is that if bullying is not properly stamped out, it can leave lasting emotional, mental and even physical scars on the victims right through their adult lives.
“Bullies themselves must be left in no doubt of the seriousness of the potential consequences of their actions. I particularly call on all parents to support the themes of Anti-Bullying Week right throughout the entire year.
“The Ulster Unionist Party is fully committed to its policy that the eradication of bullying is the responsibility jointly of teachers, parents, pupils and the Stormont education department – indeed, it must become a cross-department initiative at the Assembly, however, the education department must take the lead in this respect.
“There is also the growing crisis created by cyber bullying, which has already tragically affected several children in high-profile cases. The UUP has been to the fore in the campaign to combat these heinous cyber bullies.
“I also urge the parents and relatives of victims of bullying to work closely with the schools and the police to address this serious issue,” said Assembly member Mrs Palmer.