BeLonG To Welcome’s Ombudsman for Children’s Report into Bullying

BeLonG To Welcome’s Ombudsman for Children’s Report into Bullying 

Friday, 02 October 2012 

Following a widespread consultation with children and young people the Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, today launched her report into bullying. The report emphasises the extent of cyber and homophobic bullying amongst young people and calls on Departments of Education & Health to work together to ensure bullying is treated as a public health issue. 

Welcoming the report BeLonG To Executive Director said: “The Ombudsman for Children’s report is a hugely important contribution to our understanding of the extent and nature of bullying and to the interventions that are needed to tackle the issue. It is vital that the voices of children and young people are heard in this area and Emily Logan and her colleagues should be commended for providing them this platform. 

In particular I would like to commend the OCO for drawing further attention to the issue of homophobic bullying, which young people highlighted as an area that need specific attention and interventions. From our work at BeLonG To with many thousands of LGBT young people every year we know that homophobic and transphobic bullying is a huge issue and that this bullying can have a devastating effect on young people’s lives. 

Offering solutions to the huge problem of homophobic bullying, young people consulted for the report said: 

While sexual identity and sexual orientation are important issues of concern to young people, they are not discussed openly in schools and students do not have adequate opportunities to explore these issues in the context of curriculum teaching and learning. Teachers need to be equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to facilitate students to learn about and discuss matters relating to sexual identity and orientation. Schools need to play a role in promoting acceptance of LGBT people because they are people too” and understanding that “homosexuality is normal and acceptable”. Educating young people about these issues is an essential measure for the prevention of homophobic bullying.”  

Full Ombudsman for Children Report is available here: http://www.oco.ie/assets/files/OCO-Bullying-Report-2012.pdf