School takes on bully battle

AN anti-bullying campaign being piloted in Peebles could be rolled out across the Borders if it proves successful.

Lothian and Borders Police and their partner agencies in the Borders have launched the Not Alone initiative to tackle bullying in schools.

Local police, parents and youth charities will host a series of assemblies at Peebles High, where the issue will be discussed in depth.

In particular, the scheme, which received £500 of funding from the Fairer Scotland Fund, aims to promote tolerance and acceptance within the school and raise awareness of the different forms of discrimination.

Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Youth Scotland will also be in attendance during the pilot to challenge stereotypes of LGBT young people and encourage those being bullied because of their gender identity or sexual orientation to come forward.

Wristbands have been issued at seminars this month for pupils to show their support for the campaign.

PC Barry Taylor, locality officer for Tweeddale, said: “Bullying is a totally unacceptable form of behaviour and it is extremely important that those who bully realise this, while victims of bullying are made aware of the help and support available to them.

“Not Alone aims to remove bullying from our schools through education and awareness raising, but also by uniting the students and deterring against discrimination.

“We have been delighted with the attitude of the Peebles High School pupils and I’m sure other schools throughout the division would benefit from being involved in this campaign.”

The message will continue to be delivered throughout the school by the eight S5 pupils who volunteered to form the Not Alone group and act as champions for anti-bullying.

These students worked alongside local police officers and LGBT Youth Scotland to develop the Not Alone mission statement and will monitor their classrooms closely to identify anyone involved in bullying, or anyone who is being bullied.