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Primary school stress leading to self-harm

Published: 
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Principal tells of possible causes
Graduating class of Windermere Private School after their graduation ceremony yesterday at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando. PICTURE KRISTIAN DE SILVA

Some children are coming to school so stressed and depressed that they are deliberately cutting themselves at school.

This was revealed by the principal of Naparima Girls’ High School Carolyn Bally-Gosine during Windermere Private School annual prize distribution, held at the Naparima Bowl in San Fernando yesterday.

Bally-Gosine did not identify any school but said some of the affected pupils were still in the primary school stage.

Delivering the feature address, Bally-Gosine urged parents to be careful of how they disciplined their children adding that any evidence of physical abuse will be reported to the authorities once it is brought to her attention. She said schools had guidance counsellors and any parent who was unsure of how to discipline a child, could request professional help.

She also warned parents to refrain from choosing careers for their children saying many pupils become depressed because of their inability to fulfil their parents’ expectations.

“You should not be forcing and pressuring your children to fulfil dreams which you never accomplished earlier in your life,” she said.

Discussing the dangers of bullying, Bally-Gosine said this does not only happen within the school compound but also in cyberspace.

Bally-Gosine said it made no sense for primary school students to carry cellular phones.

She said online communication was superseding face-to-face communication so much so that students preferred to speak to their friends on social media rather than to communicate with their parents.

Bally-Gosine said it was extremely important for parents to keep the lines of communication open, adding, it was also important for the family to eat breakfast and dinner together and to speak to each other.

The principal of Windermere Laureen Debance-Misir told parents that students were not allowed to carry cellular phones at her school. She agreed with Bally-Gosine saying it was okay for parents to say no to their children as this teaches them patience. She also said that her school does not have a guidance counsellor but parents can have access to one if they needed assistance.

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