Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Irish Elections - What I want from the next Government - No 5 Stop the bullying of children in Irish schools

5 Stop the bullying of children in Irish schools

I have the dubious and onerous privilege of knowing more about the extent of bullying in Irish schools than almost any other person in Ireland.

For four years I worked at the coal face in trying to end bullying in one such Irish school.

Through the Box and Interview method I became aware of the vast amount of often unconscious bullying that plagued the lives of vulnerable children.

Through my website I know that bullying is widespread in Ireland and there is almost nothing effective being done to prevent or end it. I believe too that the incidence of bullying here has almost doubled in the past twelve months.

At the late Tony Gregory's funeral I mentioned the subject to Enda Kenny and he agreed with me that the excellent Department Guidelines (1993) should not remain as mere Guidelines to end bullying but should have the force of law.

Some members of the Oireachtas made valiant efforts to get Minister Mary Hanafin to meet me to make a presentation on the method that had been proven to work. They were; Joe Higgins (Socialist Party), Finian McGrath, (Independent) and Jan O'Sullivan (Labour Party).
The Minister did not meet me. She deputed her private assistant to have a look at a printed copy of my submissions. In the Dáil she granted that the Box and Interview method was one that Boards of Management could use.

I am asking the next Government :
1 to make the Department Guidelines (1993) law
2 to recommend the Box and Interview method to schools
3 to seriously tackle the bullying culture with all their might.

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