Prestwick Academy have launched a national anti-bullying-campaign with the Deputy First Minister.

The #ChooseRespect campaign was initiated at the school on Wednesday as part of Anti-Bullying Week 2018 (November 12-16). Its aim is to raise awareness in schools across the country and is urging young people to #ChooseRespect.

The pupils and staff welcomed Deputy First Minister John Swinney to the event to understand the anti-bullying policy they have put in place and how the matter can be addressed across Scotland.

The policy - developed by pupils, parents and staff – incorporates various methods that can be used to prevent bullying within schools but also how students are able to respond to different situations they may be involved in.

Led by Scotland’s anti-bullying service ‘Respectme’, the campaign aims to initiate positive behaviour between young people and their peers.

Katie Ferguson, service director for Respectme, said: “We chose Prestwick Academy to host the launch thanks to the fantastic efforts of the entire school community in embracing the campaign ethos, and we’re encouraging other schools to do the same.

“We recognise that choosing respect doesn’t always come easily, but how we behave is ultimately our decision. We’re hoping that the campaign will help get the whole country choosing respect and building positive relationships.”

Speaking at the launch, John Swinney explained how important it is to show support for the campaign.

He said: “Anti-Bullying Week is an appropriate opportunity to send a clear message that bullying of any kind is never acceptable.

“Where bullying does happen we all have a responsibility to address it. That is why campaigns like this one are so important, to teach young people the behaviours they can expect from their peers and how to choose respect over bullying.”

“I look forward to taking part in Anti-Bullying Week to highlight the importance in positive relationships.”

You can pledge your support to the #ChooseRespect campaign by visiting