ISPCC: National Campaign to Stand Up Against Bullying
ISPCC shield anti-bullying month starts off with a new campaign.
""Keep reminding children of their right to be safe"-Grainia Long"
With the continuing fight to prevent bullying, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) launched a new campaign on March 9th with the objective of making the fight against bullying, a national one. The ISPCC will be working with 200 schools all across Ireland and in conjunction with the staff members of schools, clubs, community groups, and parents will also be involved directly in the pursuit of “eradicating bullying from the playground, classroom, communities, and through social media channels.” Bullying will no longer be seen as a problem that should solely be dealt with by school administrators but instead as an issue that needs an entire community to be solved.
Goals of the Campaign
The ISPCC website shows that the aims of the 2015 campaign include:
- Providing help directly to parents through a range of new online resources and their existing Parent Mentoring Service
- Rolling out their Anti-Bullying Toolkit to clubs and community groups - going beyond schools, and recognising that bullying is everyone’s responsibility.
- Making sure national organisations, including political parties, Stand up Against Bullying, by pledging their support for the campaign.
- Providing direct expert advice to schools across Ireland to ‘fly the flag’ against bullying - by increasing the number of schools who are awarded ‘Shield my School Flag’ status.
- Ensuring all their Shield Anti-Bullying services get the financial resource they need to meet demand.
Why Should You Care?
Bullying, whether it be physical, verbal, non-verbal, or cyber bullying, has a large negative impact on the recipient of the behavior. The effects can include, but are far from limited to, lowered self-esteem, lowered ability to enjoy life, attempted suicide, and poor or deteriorating school work (more information on the effects of bullying is available here). These consequences have the prospect of following the person being bullied way beyond the moments of attack. According to ISPCC, more than 8,000 children had contacted the organisation specifically about bullying during the 2014 year. Due to such distressing effects and numbers, the ISPCC Shield Campaign has been put forward to “protect children from bullying and from its effects” and created an Anti-Bullying Toolkit to be utilised by clubs and community groups throughout the country.
What Can You Do to Help?
The public can support the work being done by the ISPCC campaign by wearing Shield pins (available for €2 at Penneys and M&S stores nationwide) and the new ISPCC Shield Bangle (only available from 36 Penneys stores for €2.50) to spread the word about the campaign. The public can also donate €2 to the cause by texting “Shield” to 50300.
Alongside donating, a lot more can be done to stop and prevent bullying. Telling someone trustworthy about bullying that is happening directly to you or someone you know is one of the biggest steps towards helping end the behavior. Having someone by your side to support you makes a world of difference compared to dealing with the bullying alone. Although it may be difficult to write about it, keep notes of when the bullying occurs (time, date, what has happened, who has seen) to have with you when are explaining the incidents. If the bullying happens to be occurring through the web, try as much as possible not to engage with the perpetrators. Block them from any social media forums, print or screenshot whatever messages have been sent to you, and ask for help.
Bullying is a terrible problem that causes tremendous pain for the person being bullied, however, as organizations such as the ISPCC continue to tackle on the problem and further members of the community begin to support the cause, those being bullied are getting more of the help they deserve. As Grainia Long said, every child and person has “the right to be safe” and it is vital to remind them of that fact.
For more information about the campaign, visit the ISPCC website.