Belfast Telegraph

Anti-bully competition attracts 4,000 entries from children

By Linda Stewart

More than 4,000 entries to an anti-bullying art and creative writing competition have poured in from children across Northern Ireland.

The organisers of Anti-Bullying Week, which runs from today until Friday, say that more than 800 schools and youth groups will be taking part.

This year's theme is 'Together we will make a difference - end bullying now'. It is an opportunity for schools and youth groups to work with young people to explore their role in tackling bullying.

The last major study into bullying in Northern Ireland, where pupils were asked about their experiences of bullying in the past couple of months, found that the most common form of bullying for pupils in both Year 6 (42%) and Year 9 (36%) remains being called mean names, being made fun of, or teased in a hurtful way.

The study found 39% of Year 6 pupils and 29% of Year 9 pupils had experienced bullying in the previous couple of months.

Anita Dennison (18), a Year 14 student at St Paul's High School in Bessbrook, Newry, started her own anti-bullying website and Twitter campaign two years ago.

"We all have the right to an education that doesn't involve taunting, name-calling or any form of bullying. We have the right to be included and accepted for our differences, not turned away and being judged for them," she said.

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