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RTÉ One, Tuesday, 10.15pm
Bullyproof

Series 1: Programme 2

In the second programme of the series, David visits Jade in her secondary school which is part of a Meitheal programme, unique to the schools in County Wexford. The programme trains 5th and 6th year students to act as mentors for the 1st years that enter the school and enables them to provide help, support and someone to trust for the new students. The Meitheal leaders are also in a position to learn about and potentially mediate in any bullying situations before they get out of hand. David also presents Jade with a special challenge as part of her own journey - something that she finds quite daunting but a challenge she decides she is very determined to take on....

David also spends more time with Hazel and her family, working on the continuing feelings of frustration and hurt that have shattered her self-confidence. Hazel sends a lot of time on her own which is a concern to her parents and this can be a trigger for things to get a little heated at times at home. David reminds Hazel and her parents that it is her past experiences that are at the heart of the difficulties and offers his suggestions on how the situation can be dealt with in a more effective and supportive way.

In episode 2, David also meets Rick who is now in his twenties but who was both a target and a bully during his secondary school years. Rick talks about his experiences of being bullied in secondary school and how he decided that the best way for him to protect himself was to become someone who bullied others. Rick explains how he targeted people and made it entertaining for the bystanders but behind it all, this was just his way of preventing others from seeing him as being vulnerable and afraid. Ultimately, his school sent him to counselling where he gained an understanding on how his behaviour affected others and helped him put a stop to this behaviour. In this episode, he travels with David to offer his insights on being a bully and how bystanders can use their power to undermine the bully to a group of teenagers in Dublin.

David also explores the growing phenomena of cyber bullying by talking to students about how easy it is to access websites that encourage people to post comments about others - and while some people use this opportunity to make positive comments, human nature being what it is has meant that many people use the cover of anonymity to post comments that humiliate, hurt and damage others.

Click here to listen to the RTÉ Radio One drama about cyber-bullying....

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