Before we commence the work for the new school year we would like to say thanks to the members of the Anti-bullying team, Ms Donlon, Ms Scanlon, Mr Sterling, Mr Hayden and Mr O’Gorman whose delivery of lessons and interventions, when situations arose, helped to keep our programme very much alive for the students. Thank you too to the senior religion teachers, Ms Egan, Mr Durney, Ms Donlon, Mr Sterling and Mr Carey for their work with the senior classes and to all staff for their vigilance and voicing of concern which ensured that we could respond when there was any suspicion that bullying was occurring. Your sensitivity to situations, trivialising nothing, ensured that we could follow any concern up quickly.
We had to respond to a number of situations among the 1st, 2nd and 3rd years last year with significantly fewer at senior cycle. Our emphasis when responding to them was on the power and responsibility of bystanders to these situations. Their support can help to restore respectful and peaceful relations. The majority of bystanders interviewed were very helpful. This is a success in its own right as the notion of “ratting” was not a concern. They understood the difference between ratting and reporting an incident. Using information given we were able to properly address the issue with the perpetrator. In some cases the individual being targeted was happy to meet with his tormentor, in others he was not. In so far as we know, the situations were resolved. We have to remain vigilant.
The arrival of television cameras into the classrooms in February and the various activities in which students participated could not have gone more smoothly. This again is thanks to Mr McCauley’s and Ms McCabe’s support, Dave’s fantastic energy and the teachers of the students who facilitated and supported them. Ms Hogan’s 2nd year art group and Ms Ni Bhrosnacain’s 1st year tutor group will have their Sky boxes or Video’s running in October. The third year group demonstrated their thinking skills with great ease and the TY’s and 5th years, as you may see, could give all of us lessons in public speaking. The message they delivered in their interviews indicated that what we do makes a difference. Keep an eye out on RTE 1 for Clinical Psychologist David Coleman’s new programme Bullyproof and the students and staff from Coláiste Éanna.
We will begin our lessons next week with an introductory session in 1st year and the lessons will roll out from there according to schedule.