New legislation aimed at addressing bullying in our schools will be brought forward, Education Minister John O'Dowd has pledged.
He was speaking at the launch of this year's Anti-Bullying Week where he also presented awards to the winning pupils in this year's anti-bullying art and creative writing competition.
"Bullying is a problem that, sadly, occurs in every school all over the world," he said.
"It can happen to anyone, can be profoundly damaging and can have a negative impact on the lives of children and young people right through into adulthood.
Mr O'Dowd described bullying as a "complex issue with no single, easy solution".
"This makes it essential that we work in partnership to systematically tackle bullying, creating a better school environment for every child," he said.
"I am determined that my department will play its part in this process; and it is for this reason that I have committed to bring forward new anti-bullying legislation within the current Assembly mandate."