Events are taking place in secondary schools across the country to mark STAND UP Awareness Week.

The campaign encourages second-level students to take a stand against homophobic and transphobic bullying.

The initiative is now in its eighth year.

Among those taking part is Gaelcholaíste Mhuire AG, North Monastery in Cork City.

Over 550 students gathered today to hear people, including blogger Nathan Adams and past pupil Craig Ó hArgáin, tell their own personal story.

Craig, who did his Leaving Certificate last summer, thanked the school for the support they gave him when he came out.

Sixth year student Chelsea Ní Ghgabhláin called on her fellow students to stand up for their LGBT friends if they are the victims of bullying, especially cyber bullying.

She told the story of her friend who took his own life after being unable to cope with the abuse he got online because of his sexuality.

Vice-Principal Mark Mac Gabhan said these campaigns are vital to spread awareness and show support for their LGBT students.

He also called on more schools to get involved.

Currently, 35% of the country's secondary schools take part in the campaign.

The school will be hosting events throughout the week including debates, a poster competition, and a rainbow day this Friday.