End Bul­ly­ing Glob­ally Cam­paign checks in at Mer­lene Ottey High

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS - Okoye Henry Gleaner Writer

Am­bas­sador and 2016 Miss Uni­verse Ja­maica Is­abel Dal­ley with stu­dents of the Mer­lene Ottey High School in Hanover, fol­low­ing last week’s End Bul­ly­ing Glob­ally Cam­paign ses­sion.

RAY­MOND PRYCE, the for­mer mem­ber of par­lia­ment for north east St El­iz­a­beth, has asked the stu­dents of the Mer­lene Ottey High School, in Hanover to em­brace the prin­ci­ple of ‘self-re­spect as a way of con­tribut­ing to the End Bul­ly­ing Glob­ally Cam­paign.

Pryce, who is co-chair­man of the grow­ing ini­tia­tive, charged stu­dents to be the ex­cep­tion to the bul­ly­ing life­style, which he said Ja­maica has long em­braced.

He ex­plained that in­stead, stu­dents, par­tic­u­larly those in­volved in bul­ly­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, should adopt a sense a self-worth that is ex­em­plary for their peers to pos­i­tively em­u­late.

“We live in a so­ci­ety where our cul­ture makes bul­ly­ing look like some­thing good. Just lis­ten to our dance­hall lyrics and even some of our folk­lore like Anancy,” Pryce out­lined.

SHOULD NOT BE NORM

Pryce ex­plained that bul­ly­ing oth­ers for their phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance, men­tal ill­ness and ca­pa­bil­ity as well as pos­ses­sions has too long been a norm in so­ci­ety.

“Bul­ly­ing is the art of get­ting from some­body what they have that you want, with­out the dis­ci­pline and re­spect to ne­go­ti­ate and dis­cuss,” said Pryce.

“Self-re­spect, how­ever, is the main char­ac­ter­is­tic that should make up your value sys­tem as an in­di­vid­ual. If I re­spect me, it does not mat­ter how much Clarks (shoes) an­other man might have or how much money they have, I re­spect me enough not to be en­vi­ous,” he added.

Am­bas­sador and 2016 Miss Uni­verse Ja­maica Is­abel Dal­ley shared a sim­i­lar view with the stu­dents, while en­cour­ag­ing them to be strong and stand up against bul­ly­ing as they are not alone in the fight.

“If it is now you are be­ing bul­lied, a lot of peo­ple have al­ready gone through it. It is not go­ing to al­ter you from be­ing any­thing that you want to be or less suc­cess­ful in any way,” she said.

The school’s act­ing guid­ance coun­sel­lor, Calle­sha Bra­ham, said she awaits the re­sults that the cam­paign will have on the school be­cause the stu­dents were re­cep­tive to the ed­u­ca­tional mes­sage.

“What this cam­paign has done is taken some­thing that has been caus­ing a lot of hurt among our young peo­ple who be­come hurt in­di­vid­u­als and put it out there in a way that is say­ing that at­ten­tion needs to be placed on this,” Bra­ham stated.

The End Bul­ly­ing Glob­ally Cam­paign team will head to Caribbean Mar­itime In­sti­tute at Freeport in Montego Bay next, ac­cord­ing to An­to­nio McKoy, founder and chair­man of the cam­paign.

He said a visit is also be­ing planned for Rusea’s High School in Hanover as they aim to take the pro­gramme in schools across the is­land.

PHOTO BY OKOYE HENRY

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