Use Your Voice!
Question Time with Jack McConnell
A question and answer session with Mr Jack McConnell MSP,
Minister for Education, Europe and External Affairs
took place at the conference.
Here is a taste of what went on....



Q: Do you think that the Anti-Bullying Network is the best way to tackle bullying in our schools?
Steven Robbins, 17, Trinity Academy, Edinburgh
A: "The Anti-Bullying Network is doing some sterling work in supporting schools and authorities to share good practice. Today's conference is a good example. It also provides training and consultancy services to support schools and local authorities in developing anti-bullying strategies. Good ideas for tackling bullying should be shared between education authorities. All Scottish local authorities should avoid complacency about the problem."
Q: Solving the problem of bullying takes resources eg money, people, time. How would you propose to fund these?
Neil Paterson, 16, Buckie Community High School
A: "The SEED will monitor the effectiveness of anti-bullying schemes to ensure that funding is best spent. Throwing money at the problem is not necessarily the answer. I am pleased to announce the we (SEED) will continue to offer financial support to ensure the continuation of the ChildLine Anti-Bullying Helpline. This is a free confidential telephone helpline for any child or young person concerned about bullying."
Q: Have you ever experienced bullying at school or anywhere else?
Paul Eason, 15, Kirkland High School and Community College, Leven
A: Mr McConnell said that he had not been bullied at school but was aware of people who had. He said "The fact that none of us seemed to do very much about it when it was happening to them (other pupils) is something to be very much ashamed of. I don't mind admitting that now, 23 years on, and I hope that this generation of senior school pupils is a bit more responsible than mine was."
Jack McConnell













Q: What do you think is a suitable punishment for bullies?
Michelle Gilbert, 17, Trinity Academy, Edinburgh
A: In dealing with bullying, victims should be put first but perpetrators may need counselling as well as punishment. Experience has shown that punishment alone leaves the bully free to continue with his or her behaviour. Bullies should be encouraged to change for the sake of their schools and themselves.
Q: Do you think that there is a specific role that senior pupils can take on board to help create a positive atmosphere for junior students? If so, what?
Kerry Reid, 16, Buckie Community High School
A: "Peer support schemes are a welcome development. Involving pupils can have an immediate impact on the problem and has long term benefits in building better citizens for the future. Senior pupils can have a key role to play in supporting the younger ones."


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