22/11/2004

BBC radio to spearhead Anti-Bullying Week message

BBC Radio One is set to spearhead a joint campaign designed to tackle bullying in schools this week.

The first ever Anti-Bullying Week brings together government departments, Radio One and the Anti-Bullying Alliance to show young people that they are not alone if they are being bullied and that help is available.

Radio One's Beat Bullying campaign will consist of on-air messages in the coming week by DJs and pop stars. Listeners will be encouraged to visit the broadcaster's One Life website www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onelife to learn more about tackling bullying and adopt a special anti-bullying wristband to show that they are determined together to 'beat bullying'.

The education department will also promote the wristbands through a new information film with famous musicians, sports stars and celebrities reading lines from a poem written by a victim of bullying for broadcast on national television. Schools will also be urged to sign up to an anti-bullying Charter for Action.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance of over 50 organisations, including children's charities and education professionals, is running events working with schools and local communities across the country. These aim to raise awareness, promote successful anti-bullying strategies and develop new approaches to tackling bullying such as using text messaging to report bullying incidents and peer mentor schemes where young people can support each other.

Schools Minister Stephen Twigg said: "Bullying creates misery for thousands of children, it is crucial that they know that they are not alone. We want all young people to 'make a stand and wear a band'. Wearing the band will give young people the opportunity to make a visible commitment that they are not prepared to tolerate bullying and will stand by their friends."

The Minister will tomorrow be launching new schools guidance, 'Stand Up For Us', which sets out how to quickly assess the scale of bullying.

(gmcg/sp)

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