Staff and students at the Frederick Smith Secondary School took a stand against bullying as the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Programme was officially launched there yesterday.
In a chorus of agreement they all declared their school a No Bullying Zone and echoed the slogan ‘Stop It Now! Stop The Bullying!’
The programme, introduced to Barbados through Supreme Counselling For Personal Development, is to be implemented as a pilot project in four schools across the island. Its main objective is to, firstly, reduce the incidents of bullying, and then prevent new cases from arising. It also seeks to embrace and engage the community in the same efforts.
Currently, the project is being used in schools in Germany, Australia, Britain, the United States, among other countries, and is believed to be the most researched bullying prevention programme to date.
Endorsing the project at the Trents, St James school, principal Jefferson Phillips applauded the initiative, adding he believed it would be good fit for his school as it sought to be rid of the scourge.
Other brief remarks were made by Supreme Counselling CEO Shawn Clarke and Maria Holder Memorial Trust chairman Chesterfield Holder, who both highlighted the importance of embracing the programme.
Represented also as part of the campaign were officials from the Ministry of Education Science Technology and Innovation, the Royal Barbados Police Force and Scotia Bank, as well as Joe Bruzzese, CEO of Sprigeo, a Web-based tracking software where children can anonymously report incidents of bullying.
Frederick Smith Secondary students Jane Small, Chad Montplesair, Dana Babb, Tumera Nurse and Tobeika Riley all made special appearances.