Moving Foyle film used as anti-bullying tool

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A moving animation created by two young Foyle College pupils is being used in schools across Northern Ireland to demonstrate the emotional

harm that can be caused by bullying behaviour.

Mark and Tom McLaughlin of Year 9 made the film last year.

It’s now being rolled out all across the province as part of Anti-Bullying Week.

Principal Patrick Allen said: “In our school we work hard throughout the year to make it clear that bullying is never acceptable.

“Anti-Bullying Week gives us the opportunity, as a whole schools community, to focus on this important issue and send a clear message that bullying has no place in our school.”

Mr Allen added: “We are looking forward to using the really useful Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) resources to highlight what bullying is and how we can deal with it.

“The initiative gives our whole school, including management, teachers and pupils the opportunity to focus on reinforcing the anti-bullying message across the entire school community.

“This year we were delighted that 127 KS3 pupils recognised the importance of tackling bullying and submitted entries for the NIABF competition ‘What bullying means to me’; we are even happier that a short animation by Mark and Tom McLaughlin of Year 9 has been awarded top prize in the movie section and the boys winning entry, which can be seen on the school website, will be used in school all across Northern Ireland.”

Lee Kane, Regional Anti-Bullying Coordinator, says that schools across Northern Ireland have been getting involved in the campaign.

“More than 700 schools and other organisations from right across our community have signed up to take part in the week of activities. NIABF has provided a range to resources, including themed posters, assemblies and class workshops to support pupils in exploring their understanding of what bullying is about.

“By improving our understanding of bullying wherever it takes place, either in school, in our communities or online, we can help to tackle bullying more effectively.”

Anti-Bullying Week is once again supported by Translink. Anti-bullying messages will be reinforced on posters in train and bus stations across Northern Ireland.

Translink’s Ursula Henderson says: “Bullying can mean different things to different people but has the same detrimental impact on child development - creating fear and anxiety, tension and stress.

“It’s important we continue to take positive steps to build understanding of what constitutes bullying in order to address it effectively and protect an individual’s emotional wellbeing.

“By supporting NIABF we are also delivering the message that customers should always behave responsibly and with respect for other passengers and staff while travelling by bus or train.”

The NIABF defines bullying as the repeated use of power by one or more persons intentionally to hurt, harm or adversely affect the rights and needs of another or others.

Bullying is a form of unacceptable behaviour, but not all unacceptable behaviour can be considered bullying. Bullying usually has three key elements: it is repeated behaviour that happens over a period of time; it involves an imbalance of power; it is intentionally hurtful behaviour

To find out more about Anti-Bullying Week log on to www.endbullying.org.uk