Anti-Bullying Week 2018
Anti-Bullying Week provides us with the opportunity to send a clear and positive message that bullying of any kind is totally unacceptable and when it happens, we all have a responsibility to address it.
Building on the success of last year’s campaign this year’s theme is #ChooseRespect.
And because action to address bullying is not limited to a week the campaign is running throughout the year to reinforce the messages of respect, positive relationships and empathy.
Environments that promote respect, celebrate difference and promote positive relationships and behaviour are less likely to see bullying as acceptable. That is why I would encourage anyone who works with young people to visit the respectme website or social media pages to find out more information about how to create these kinds of environments and #ChooseRespect.
Our national strategy to address bullying aimed at anyone working with children and young people – ‘Respect for All’ – was published in November 2017 and work has continued since then. So far to support the implementation we have:
- delivered training across Scotland to those working with children and young people in partnership with Education Scotland, resepctme and LGBT Youth Scotland
- delivered additional training events in partnership with the Scottish Council of Independent Schools
- funded LGBT Youth Scotland to deliver additional training sessions on their ‘Addressing Inclusion’ guidance
- funded the Coalition of Racial Equality and Rights to publish a resource on racist bullying
- commenced rolling out a new national standardised approach to monitor and record bullying in schools
It is every child’s right to grow up fully included in their learning experience and to be treated with respect. Where bullying does happen we all have a responsibility to address it, quickly and effectively.
The focus should always be on prevention and making improvements at a local level to ensure the correct support is in place for our children and young people. Through addressing prejudice-based bullying and promoting an inclusive approach to relationships, sexual health and parenthood education, children will learn about tolerance, respect and equality.
As I said in Parliament last week we are committed to taking forward all of the recommendations of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group that will not only improve the learning experience of our LGBTI young people, but also support all learners to celebrate their differences, promote understanding and encourage inclusion.
We want every child and young person in Scotland to develop mutually respectful, responsible and confident relationships and our schools should be an inclusive and supporting learning environment.
That is why I welcome the work of respectme and partners to promote the message of respect, equality and inclusivity to ensure all children and young people, and the adults that work with them, have the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment free from bullying behaviour.
I was pleased to be able to take part in Anti-Bullying Week 2018 to highlight the importance of tolerance and positive relationships, not just for one week of the year, but for every day.