Senator Deirdre Clune is calling on the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn to introduce a ‘Bullying Prevention’ module which would be compulsory for all teaching students. At the moment in Ireland many teaching institutions do not offer a subject which equips teachers to deal with bullying in schools.
“Bullying is not a new phenomenon and teachers need to be educated on the best way to nip bullying in the bud before it escalates. They spend a lot of time interacting with students so are in the best position to spot warning signs and act quickly.
“Bullying is a traumatic and preventable occurrence in a young person’s life which can severely impact on their schooling, mental health and confidence.
“A module on the prevention of bullying for prospective teachers could include how to spot warning signs, what to do, who to turn to and the most efficient and effective way to protect the victim.
“The stigma surrounding bullying needs to be lifted and we can do this by changing our civic consciousness, bullying in all its forms must be totally unacceptable in society.
“Every school in Ireland needs to have an Anti Bullying policy which is uniform and mandatory. This would include cyber bullying and be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure it is still fit for purpose.
“This policy should set out specific measures to combat bullying and be circulated among all staff. This would minimize confusion and set out a clear procedure for schools if an incident of bullying arises.”