Most of us would have, at one time in our school lives, been the target of bullies or known someone who has. It's a horrible thing that makes many pupils school experiences a misery.
Richmond Council has launched a new anti-bullying strategy to put policies in place to make sure every child in the borough can live and learn in a safe environment free from bullying, harassment and violence. The Council has a duty to protect children in its care from bullying and ensure all schools and youth settings in the borough are socially and culturally inclusive.
The strategy was drawn up over 18 months in consultation with schools, young people, voluntary organisations, Richmond Mencap, Connexions, the Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans Group and the London Anti-Bullying Alliance. Through the strategy effective anti-bullying training, support, policy and procedures will become embedded in school and youth settings.
Cabinet Member for Children Services and Education, Cllr Malcolm Eady said:
"Bullying can have an utterly destructive effect on children's lives causing long lasting physical and psychological harm.
"It is important to the Council that children in the borough are protected from bullying and harassment and know that if they are a victim of bullying they will be listened to and offered support.
"The main component of the Anti-Bullying Strategy is the development of a borough wide peer mentoring programme in association with the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation.
"A major challenge in tackling bullying is the increasing use of new technologies to harass others and issues that arise outside of the school or youth service remit such as on public transport. The mentoring programme will play a key role in these areas and help our young people feel confident that if they report a problem something will be done."
The strategy, which forms a key strand of the Youth Forum Manifesto, will be reviewed and updated regularly and this process will be led by children and young people to guarantee it best reflects their needs. Young people are encouraged to take a lead on tackling bullying, acting as peer mentors, young leaders and volunteers and championing the Anti-bullying Strategy.
For more information on the anti-bullying strategy or anti-bullying week contact Bob Hope or Velia Hartland at email@example.com
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