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Facebook celebrates young people working to tackle bullying

By Catherine Wylie, PA

More than half of young people have experienced bullying in school and 30% have been bullied online, a survey suggests.

The research by the Diana Award found that 49% of online bullying starts offline, with the majority of cases (78%) in school.

It comes as Facebook hosts a Diana Award anti-bullying school showcase on Tuesday to celebrate young people across the UK who are working together to tackle bullying in their schools.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright and Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president of Facebook in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, are expected to participate in a panel discussion.

The Diana Award's anti-bullying ambassador scheme is a training programme offered to schools in the UK to train young people to provide peer-to-peer support and stand up to bullying.

The event will offer first-hand experiences of how the programme engages young people to tackle bullying in their schools and communities, as well as promoting the safe use of the internet.

In the survey of more than 1,000 young people aged 11-16, 53% said they were worried about experiencing bullying online.

About 67% found it easier talking about online issues with someone who is close to their own age than with a teacher, the survey found.

Alex Holmes, deputy chief executive of the Diana Award, said: "We know that bullying remains the number one concern of young people, with the majority of bullying behaviour starting in school, and that's why we are proud to have enabled 770 new schools along with 9,120 pupils to learn the skills to keep themselves and their peers safe online and offline.

"We are now urging more secondary schools across the UK to sign up to this programme."

Ms Mendelsohn said: "Over the last decade, we've developed many resources to help young people stay safe on Facebook, including our Bullying Prevention Hub, Parent's Portal, Safety Centre and our online reporting tools.

"We know there's still work to do, and we will continue to invest in this important work to help young people build safe and supportive communities on Facebook."

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