A BBC Report is suggesting that the I Spy campaign, which was set up 18 months ago to bring local schools, community groups and police together to tackle bullying, is being extended to include shops and businesses.
Workers in Prestatyn are to be given training on how to support pupils who enter their shops looking for help and are being asked to offer “safe havens” for children who are being bullied on the way to and from school.
The community scheme was created by Prestatyn High School, the town’s Pop In Centre and the County Youth Service to proactively tackle all forms of bullying.
Phil Pierce, head teacher of Prestayn High, said, “We felt that when were at school they were safe because we had a system and when they were at the pop in centre they were safe. But between those places there was no joined-up system so sometimes children and young people were vulnerable.
“The idea we have is to sign up local shops and businesses on the high street to help.
“If a child is anxious and fears they are being followed by a group or are being threatened or bullied they can go into a shop where the I Spy logo is displayed.
“Workers will be vetted and trained so they can get them home safely and pass on the information to the relevant authorities. The parents are really pleased about it and the children are talking about bullying, which can only be a good thing. I think this is something that all communities could do. Bullying in Prestatyn is no worse than any other place but we felt it should be tackled.”
Among the organisations working on the campaign are North Wales Police, Denbighshire Youth Services and educational psychologist, the NSPCC, ChildLine and Barnardo’s, along with the local MP Chris Ruane and AM Ann Jones.
Although some schools always feel that they must not mention bullying in publicity for fear that it will give the impression to parents that their school has a particular problem, an initiative like this can, in my view, certainly help a school in its publicity, and show that it is a highly interactive and inventive school.
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