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Caribbean Colour Splash, bmobile in anti-bullying drive
Caribbean Colour Splash hosted its 2017 Secondary Schools Anti-Bullying Conference at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando recently.
Altogether, 700 students and 50 teachers from 30 schools within the south and central region came out in support of this growing movement which aims to educate and empower young people on the importance of taking proactive steps for intercepting bullying. These students were joined by distinguished lecturers —Dr Sean Annisette and Dr Gerard Hutchinson—and key stakeholders, including bmobile, who all share the same vision.
Bmobile has taken a firm stance against bullying in all forms, and saw it fit to play an integral part throughout the informative initiative. TSTT vice president of Marketing Camille Campbell said, “Our involvement with the Anti-Bullying Conference gives us a chance to connect with the younger minds of T&T. It is important that we elaborate on prevention methods, causes and effects of bullying. Technology must be used responsibly and bmobile has thrown all its support behind this ideology.”
In his feature address, Dr Annisette—an educator with over 25 years experience and current principal of Tranquillity Government Secondary School —enlightened the youthful audience on the fastest growing form of aggressive intimidation, cyberbullying.
“Most of the problems which occur in school violence, both locally and internationally, have their genesis in cyberbullying due to the easy availability of information and communications technology (ICT). My advice is to lessen the use of social media outlets. As hard as it may seem, removing yourself or your trace from these platforms, temporarily at least, will assist in preventing bullying, especially among peers,” he said.
Annisette also called on those present to stand together with victims of bullying by setting up support groups in schools.
Throughout the programme, pupils from Holy Faith Convent (Penal) and Fyzabad Anglican Secondary interjected with inspirational skits on the highly sensitive topic. Following Annisette’s address, he held a short discussion segment with students, who were eager to give advice or have some of their questions answered.
Chatting with Holy Faith Convent (Couva) fourth former Ahkeiffah Bartlette, said she was pleased to be a part of Caribbean Colour Splash’s Anti-Bullying seminar.
“I gathered a lot of information that I never knew here,” she declared. “I’m very grateful that this knowledge was also passed on to my classmates and other schools throughout Trinidad. We need endeavours like this to help with our school violence problem. Kudos to the organisers for making such an informative event possible.”
Caribbean Colour Splash project manager Albert Marshall reiterated in his closing remarks, “This conference was designed to inspire you to return to your community and make it a better one. All of you here today are anti-bullying ambassadors. You were selected to be a part of this because you are the ones that were given the responsibility to go back to school and create the positive change.”
T&T is still in the process of passing laws that deal with cyberbullying. And according to a World Values Survey undertaken during the period 2010-2014, more than 25 per cent of T&T citizens believe someone would take advantage of them at some point. Both Dr Annisete and Dr Hutchinson openly offered their services to assist in any cause regarding the cementing of laws to deal with and form of bullying