Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly, today launched two important resources to help support young people affected by bullying, their families and teachers.
Tackle Bullying (www.tacklebullying.ie), an online resource for young people affected by bullying, was developed at the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC) at Dublin City University and funded by National Lottery Funds. It is the first forum of its kind and encourages teenagers to share their experiences with their peers or offer support to others.
While the forum will encourage peer-to-peer conversation, all posts will be monitored by professionals and an option to contact one of the moderators directly will be available to those feeling very unhappy or have a serious issue they’d like to discuss. The website will also contain some useful information on the subject such as tips on staying cyber-safe and newspaper articles which might be useful for school projects.
Commenting on the launch, director of the Anti-Bullying Centre and Senior Lecturer in the School of Education Studies at DCU, James O’Higgins Norman said, "This online forum and book arise out of many years of research on bullying and cyberbullying at the Anti-Bullying Centre and signify our commitment to transforming our research into practical resources for those affected by bullying and cyberbullying".
Understanding Cyberbullying, a Guide for Parents and Teachers, by Professor Mona O’ Moore, was also launched. This book is designed for anyone who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of cyberbullying and its prevention methods. It is unique in its recommendations for best practice which draw not only on the most up-to-date research but also on the author’s many years of professional experience working with the Anti-Bullying Centre and with schools and individual children, parents and teachers.
Author Mona O’ Moore commented, “There is a great urgency to address the growth of cyberbullying among our young people. The book will complement the online forum by helping schools, parents and teachers to better identify, prevent and deal more effectively with the mean, downgrading and cowardly behaviour that constitutes cyberbullying so that few children will suffer the pain of victimization.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister James Reilly commented "Internet Safety and cyber bullying are issues which have resonance across a number of Government Departments and statutory agencies. In the case of my own Department the anti-bullying agenda has been a recurring element in its consultations with young people and has been addressed in a number of Comhairle na nÓg initiatives supported by my Department."
The Anti-Bullying Centre was established in 1996 by Professor Mona O’Moore and is located in the School of Education Studies at Dublin City University, led by Dr. James O’Higgins Norman. The Centre engages in a range of activities and research projects designed to reflect the ever-changing face of bullying in society such as cyberbullying and workplace bullying.