Teens play their part to tackle bullying

Young Teries are assisting the council in implementing new measures to combat bullying and create safe and positive learning environments.

Local teenagers Alan Wise and Liam Turnbull are part of the Youth Commission on Bullying, which has made more than 30 recommendations to Scottish Borders Council on preventing and managing bullying behaviour in schools.

The group, set up a year ago, submitted a host of recommendations after gathering evidence from primary and secondary pupils, parents, staff, police officers, and local youth work organisations.

Alan, 17, told the Hawick News: “From the Youth Commission I have learnt and developed skills I will use throughout my life, and have the opportunity to apply these skills to improve the life of children and young people in the Scottish Borders who experience bullying behaviour.”

Fellow local boy Liam, 16, added: “Being a Youth Commissioner has given me the opportunity to meet young people and to work alongside adults to create change in for the future of children and young people in the Scottish Borders.”

It is hoped that policy-making led by young people, will pave the way for more school-age children to have the opportunity to work alongside elected members and council officers to create recommendations for other policies relating to services and changes which affect them.

Glenn Rodger, the council’s director of education and lifelong learning, said: “It is a momentous occasion and we look forward to continuing to work with the Youth Commissioners as we develop, implement and monitor a policy on anti-bullying for the Scottish Borders.”

He added: “I should also like to sincerely thank the Commissioners who have spent in excess of 2,000 hours of their own time to develop their recommendations on bullying.

“This has been a significant piece of work by them and they are to be congratulated for producing such a thorough and professional report.”