A new learning resource on online bullying has been launched for secondary school students and teachers.

'The Respect Effect' will be a unit of learning within the Junior Cycle Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) course.

It was developed by internet safety organisation Webwise.

The aim of the educational resource is to empower students to recognise and take action against online bullying, through their own positive actions and behaviours and through helping to create an anti-bullying environment on a school-wide level.

It will also support teachers in addressing the learning outcomes within the Junior Cycle SPHE course that relate to online bullying.

The programme sets out to foster empathy, respect and resilience and to help young people to understand the consequences of their actions and the impact of cyberbullying on all involved.

The Online Safety Commissioner Niamh Hodnett launched the new learning unit.

"The ‘Respect Effect’ is a resource we can all learn from - even those of us beyond the junior cycle," Ms Hodnett said.

"It deals with online bullying and abuse by equipping and empowering second level students to navigate the online world, respectfully and with empathy," she added.

The anti-bullying programme was launched at the opening of a new art exhibition ‘Respect and Empathy’ which features 12 artworks by students from primary and post-primary schools across Ireland.

The works celebrate the theme of respect and empathy online.