Oireachtas report: Bullying ‘widespread in every urban and rural school’ in Ireland 11 months ago

Oireachtas report: Bullying ‘widespread in every urban and rural school’ in Ireland

A 2019 survey by Jigsaw, the youth mental health organisation, and the UCD School of Psychology, of 19,000 young people, found 39 per cent of those in secondary school had experienced bullying.

And now, two years later, it seems not much has changed.

According to a new Oireachtas report, bullying is persistent and "widespread in every urban and rural school."

Almost three-quarters (73%) said their experiences occurred in school, compared with 12% via a device, and 3% at home.

“Some young people have endured great suffering because of school bullying with short-term and long-term consequences of a very serious nature,” said committee chairman Paul Kehoe.

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"It is not an exaggeration to say that school bullying can affect a person for the rest of their lives.”

Data submitted to the committee by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) claims 7.6% of children aged 11-15 will encounter “chronic bullying" and following the research, the report suggests anti-bullying inspections should be carried out in schools, with published findings, to help reassure parents and staff that protective measures are in place.

Following months of deliberation and testimony from clinical psychologists, mental health experts, unions, parents and school management bodies, education officials, the Ombudsman for Children, cyber-safety advocates and children themselves, the education committee has also backed the creation of an online safety commissioner to both receive and investigate specific complaints.

Among almost 30 different recommendations, the committee has also pushed for the provision of emotional counselling and therapeutic supports and, for teachers, mandatory cyber-bullying and internet safety training.