Headlines: September 8th, 2006



Young people from Britain will join contemporaries from Ireland and the United States in a trans-Atlantic link up today designed to give them a say on how to tackle bullying in schools and to take steps towards developing training material that can be used by schools. Anti-bullying charity beatbullying is organising the event in association with the Sullivan University System in America and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

The 20 young people from this country, aged from 10 to 16, are all beatbullying trained ambassadors who will speak about their own experiences during the video conference. They will be at the Bar Council offices in London and their US opposite numbers will be in the Muhammad Ali Centre in Louisville, Kentucky for the two-hour debate.

Topics to be discussed will include peer mentoring, gun and knife violence and the role of the bystander as well as talking about what the young people would like to see happen in schools to help ease the problem. The organisers hope the event will forge transatlantic links between schools to develop capability and to engage in distance learning through further events. They also anticipate the conference leading to the production of a Peer Mentoring Toolkit and training resources designed to involve whole school communities in solutions to bullying and empowerment for cultural change.

John Quinn, Development Director of beatbullying, and the overall facilitator for the day, said, “The groundbreaking Transatlantic Youth Link on Bullying is purely about the voices of young people being heard. The positive aspects of simultaneously having young people in three countries talking to each other means that each will have a base for altering, as appropriate, their own organisational circumstances. The collective anti-bullying wisdom of these countries is enormous and it’s time to pool our resources.”