Finding Allies

We have seen for some time now the devastating effects of anger on our young people.

We have noticed our youth being extremely short tempered and acting irrationally in situations that could have been handled differently and much more effectively. We have heard some Principals and Deputy Principles speak of discipline in schools being a concern; one such Deputy Principal is Mr. Denton Brathwaite of the Princess Margaret Secondary School and carried in the Daily Nation; article attached. We have realised the invent of bullying as corroborated by an Yvette Best written article in the Daily Nation of June 19th 2012 and entitled “Hurt by a Bully”,  (story submitted). The Nation Newspaper article is also supported by another article of the same daily news dated Thursday April 5th 2012 entitled “Bullying linked to depression.”  In this article Psychologists Dianne Holder and Keisha Bowla-Hines noted that there was a clear correlation between bullying, depression and anxiety. Mrs. Holder noted that school was not a friendly place for people who displayed good values, and those students were disintegrated and put down while Mrs. Bowla-Hines stated that victims of bullying begin to feel unaccepted, and that something was wrong with them. We have also seen family violence, sibling rivalry and several other deviant behaviours that have resulted only in a negative way.  We have seen truancy as a by-product of youthful indifference, disinterest, defiance and demotivation, and accompanied traits such as physical violence, abusive language, disrespect towards teachers, sexual misconduct, stealing, gambling, bullying, violations of the school’s dress codes, and wilful destruction of school property. This is supported by an editorial in the Nation Newspaper dated Saturday

Bullying is a feature in the lives of children at school. Most children, who tested high in aggression, also had high scores in locus of control (an indication of a lack of control over their environment). Their parents indicated that they exhibited bullying behaviour often such as cruelty to other children.

Children who were anxious and depressed in several cases indicated that they were the victims of indirect and direct bullying. Direct Bullying referred to activity such as initiating fights, starting quarrels and confronting teachers and parents aggressively while Indirect Bullying reported incidents relating to scandalous gossip and lies about children and their families via internet and school discussion. Coercion to do negative activities such as missing school, taking drugs and disobedience to “fit into a group” via negative peer pressure was also expressed by the children.