Equality Authority Endorses Anti-Bullying Programme based on the protections of Equality Legislation

  • For Immediate Release

    Equality Authority Endorses Anti-Bullying Programme based on the protections of Equality Legislation

    The Equality Authority welcomes the action plan announced today by Ministers Ruairi Quinn and Frances Fitzgerald to combat bullying in schools.

    Minister Quinn commented that “it’s important that we recognise that bullying behaviour sometimes stems from prejudice – from racism, homophobia or ignorance about a different culture or religion. Addressing such issues can be difficult, challenging and emotive, but prejudiced attitudes must be explored and dealt with. I take the view that a culture that encourages respect, values opinions, celebrates differences and promotes positive relationships is better for all.”

“The Equality Authority has been promoting respect and inclusivity in schools, workplaces and in society for over a decade, based on the protections that exist in equality legislation. Recognising and naming prejudice based bullying such as homophobic and race based bullying, along with accepted concepts of harassment and sexual harassment sets a higher benchmark for proper behaviour and respect in Irish society which is to be welcomed” said CEO Renee Dempsey.

“We are particularly pleased to note that our work in this area has helped to inform the strong programme announced today. The Working Group accepts the concept of identity based bullying and the great harm arising from bullying in schools or in society which targets our young people. We are particularly pleased that the Working Group has included protection from bullying in the nine grounds covered by equality legislation” she added.

“Setting clear guidelines and standards of behaviour in education can only result in an added benefit when young people bring these standards with them into the workplace in the years ahead, which results in a benefit to society, well beyond the initial reach of the classroom” she concluded.

Ends 29th January 2013

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