5 March 2016
By Bryan Smyth
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) is delighted to award the first Shield Anti Bullying Flag to the first mainstream secondary school in Co. Cork yesterday. St Aloysius, along with Scoil Mhuire Naofa also based in Carrigtwohil and Bantry Youthreach centres are the only schools in Cork to have attained this award. The ISPCC Shield Flag was presented to St. Aloysius College by the ISPCC’s National Anti-Bullying Co-ordinator Sinead McKee in recognition of their work in strengthening their preventative and proactive approach to bullying. The ISPCC established the Shield Flag in recognition of the strong efforts being made by schools and clubs in counteracting bullying behaviour. This award publically recognises the efforts of participating schools or clubs who are taking a positive, proactive approach to bullying.
Vicki Manley, St Aloysius Anti Bullying Co-ordinator noted the work that has been carried out by the school as part of their involvement with the ISPCC’s Shield programme; “The whole school community has carried out considerable work over the last number of months on our Anti – Bullying policy. This has included an Anti-Bullying Awareness week and the appointment of an Anti-Bullying co-ordinator. At St Aloysius College we see the ISPCC Shield Flag as way to help sustain and develop a warm and caring atmosphere where all students feel safe and secure.”
Acting Principal Donall O’ Murchu noted that the receipt of the award falls during their Anti-Bullying Week which is a whole school event fully supported by management and staff. Donall is appreciative of all who have been involved in anti-bullying work within the school community;”Sincere thanks to all involved in the co-ordination and organisation of the many activities which took place during this very significant week in the life of our school. The ISPCC Shield Flag is a clear symbol to our school community and to the public of the vital importance of having an Anti – Bullying School environment.”
For ISPCC Anti- Bullying Co-ordinator, Sinead McKee a school receiving this ISPCC Shield flag means that the school will have to continue to work hard on having a proactive approach to this issue; “When a school is awarded the ISPCC Shield Flag it means that the school will have to work hard to ensure they have a preventative approach to bullying. St Aloysius College has numerous activities and initiatives planned for this year and I commend the college on the level of involvement of the student body and parents in this work. Research shows that if we want to have an effective approach to bullying, then it is not just the Board of Management and teachers who need to be involved; the participation of the whole school community is essential if a school wants to have an effective approach to this issue”