Scottish Parliament quizzed on anti-bullying policies

Parliament to be challenged on their anti-bullying policies.

WORKPLACE BULLYING REMAINS a major problem in Moray and one that Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant will not allow her Holyrood colleagues to forget.

The Labour MSP has put in place a number of Parliamentary Questions seeking the SNP Government’s policy on bullying.

Mrs Grant last year set up the ‘Tobie’ website – Tackling Oppressive Behaviour in Employment – and that has become a focus for many people who have suffered bullying both in the workplace and at schools.

“Bullying never leaves you and can have a massive negative effect on anyone’s life” Rhoda said, adding: “This issue is so very important to address, because it makes people ill, drives people to suicide and destroys lives, most particularly a young life at a time they should be growing up enjoying new experiences.

“Bullying in all its forms is unacceptable but up until now we have been focussing on work place bullying. I am passionate about this issue and that is why, with the support of my team, I launched Tobie in Inverness and Elgin and then rolled out the initiative across the Highlands and Islands.

“Since we launched the TOBIE website we have had nearly 10,000 hits. It is heartening to know that our site is being looked at and provides information, but it also tells us something about the size of the problem and that we need to do more to try and address it.

“You have to wonder if legislation is required to deal with bullying in all its forms. No one believes this is an easy issue to address. I accept that there are common law and statute offences in Scotland that could cover bullying, however, I think we need to raise the bar and make it just plain unacceptable in whatever walk of life it occurs.”

Mrs Grant has asked the Scottish Government what plans they have to make bullying a specific offence in Scotland. She has also asked what plans exist to introduce an anti-bullying Tsar and what plans they have to record bullying instances in schools to publicise these figures.