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Brechin schoolgirl helps launch national resource aimed at tackling online bullying

An Angus schoolgirl has helped launch a new anti-bullying toolkit.

An Angus schoolgirl has helped launch a new anti-bullying toolkit which will be used in schools across Scotland.

Brechin High School pupil Rachel Talbot, 13, chaired the virtual launch of the Think B4 You Type toolkit which is designed to help schools run youth-led campaigns to tackle online bullying.

The resource was born out of a campaign run last year by the children’s charities  NSPCC Scotland and respectme, who worked alongside Angus Council.

The campaign saw eight secondary schools in the Angus area work to raise awareness of online bullying and find local, youth-led solutions to prevent it.

Rachel Talbot helped launch a new anti-bullying campaign this week.

This included organising activities such a sessions with peers to discuss online bullying, making a film on the impact of text bullying and social media comment and giving presentations in assemblies.

Rachel, who was on the youth advisory group for the original campaign, said: “By working with our peers in our schools and sharing our own experiences, together we were able to create the Think B4 You Type campaign and make recommendations to Angus City Council regarding their anti-bullying policy in our schools.

“This issue matters to me so much personally, because when I was in primary school I was bullied both in person and online.

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“It’s important to me to do as much as I can to try to stop anyone from going through the same thing and to help the ones who unfortunately do.

“I believe the activities that we ran at school during anti-bulling week, made everyone really think about the issue and the impact it can have on people’s lives.”

Every year, hundreds of young people from across Scotland contact the NSPCC’s Childline service about their bullying concerns, with cyberbullying becoming increasingly prevalent.

The new toolkit is designed to give guidance to adults on setting up anti-bullying campaigns.

“This issue matters to me so much personally, because when I was in primary school I was bullied both in person and online.”

Rachel Talbot, Brechin High School pupil

Speaking about the resource, Scotland’s Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd said: “All forms of bullying, including online bullying, are totally unacceptable. It is great to see young people coming together to take charge and make changes for the better.

“The hard work the young people in Angus have invested into the ‘Think B4 You Type’ campaign which has led to the development of the toolkit, shows the true passion and commitment of everyone involved.

“The toolkit will help guide adults across Scotland on how to best support youth-led anti-bullying work and it will act as a valuable legacy for the campaign.”

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