The Housing Executive has funded a new initiative in local schools that addresses the issues of crime, anti-social behaviour ASB) and community safety. Kilkeel High School and the De La Salle High School in Downpatrick have been involved in the programme.
Developed by the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, the Respect Programme teaches young people about the consequences anti-social behaviour and crime can have on communities and their own health, safety and well-being.
£2,500 has been awarded by the Housing Executive to fund the project, allowing the production of new text books, E-books, work sheets and student surveys.
Michael Fitzgerald, from the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, explained how the programme works and said: “As part of the Respect Programme we encourage young people to challenge stereotypes, consider opposing viewpoints and examine citizenship issues.
“This helps them deal with problems they encounter in everyday life such as peer pressure, bullying and personal safety.”
Jackie O’Kane, from the Housing Executive’s Community Safety Team, said; “We want to empower young people to make positive choices and play an active role in their community.
“This is a fantastic project that uses real life situations to demonstrate that everyone in our society deserves respect.
“We are delighted that Kilkeel High School and the De La Salle High School in Downpatrick has engaged with the programme and are helping their pupils tackle anti-social behaviour problems in a constructive way.”
Ms McAtee, Vice Principal of Kilkeel High School, added: “This programme enables us to provide a safe space for teachers and pupils to explore complicated issues.
“This is a great opportunity for us to help prepare our young people for challenges they may face outside of school and encourage them to play a positive role in their local community.”
“We are delighted that De La Salle in Downpatrick has engaged with the programme and are helping their pupils tackle anti-social behaviour problems in a constructive way.”
Mr Maguire, Principal of De La Salle in Downpatrick, said: “This is an excellent programme which helps pupils and staff members to grapple with often complex issues they are faced with in respect to anti0social behaviour.
“It certainly is an opportunity to get our young people ready for the big world outside and it provides a strong foundation for them to be better citizens and address issues of anti-social behaviour with the tools that they have learned.”