Crime Stoppers Barbados (CSB) is reporting a measure of success coming out of anger management programmes at primary and secondary schools across Barbados.
Against the backdrop of a worrying incidence of violence and conflict among young people, the organisation, which facilitates anonymous tips on crime, has pointed to positive feedback from principals and guidance counsellors on the transformational impact from its Kool Kids (KK) and Cool Yuh Head (CYH) programmes.
Crime Stoppers said the Cool Yuh Head programme is an anger management and conflict resolution initiative that was implemented in secondary schools throughout Barbados.
“It received approval from the Ministry of Education in 2011 and has been undertaken at 18 secondary schools,” said a key official of the organisation who did not want to be identified.
“The project is geared towards sensitizing students about the negative consequences of violence and being involved in crime. It equips them with basic tools to handle conflict and anger; and re-engenders a spirit of civic-mindedness and willingness to do what is right,” the official added.
The facilitators use videos, role-playing, powerpoint presentations and engage students in conversations so that the sessions are interactive and informative.
“The videos highlight prisoners talking about the choices they made because of anger and how they have regretted their actions, while urging the students not to make the same mistakes,” the official stated.
The CSB said the success of this programme is reflected in the comments of guidance counsellors from participating secondary schools.
“My general observation is that the programme has gone very well. The students have been engaged and there has been lots of student participation. The students have been very open regarding their struggles with anger. It has been such a benefit to the students, that we have expanded it to other classes. The anger diary is a particularly good idea and the whole programme is first-class,” reported Rosalin Gibson, a guidance counsellor at the Lester Vaughn Memorial Secondary School.
“I think it has been quite a good programme to engage the students. There has been a great improvement with the inclusion of the videos. I would like to see this programme extended to the youth group at my church,” declared Margaret Grant, the guidance counsellor at The St. Michael School.
“The Crime Stoppers programme is not something to be taken lightly. The impact of this powerful programme should not be measured by how attentively the students listen or by how many students say they would never fight again. This programme is crucial to the protection of the social equilibrium, as it helps to ensure the safety of our youth’s future,” commented Karen Phillips, assistant guidance counsellor at Daryl Jordan Secondary School.
The Kool Kids initiative, which started in 2019 through a partnership between CSB, UNICEF and Jada Construction Company, is an anger management and conflict resolution programme in primary schools.
The official said it is also preventative-based for 5 – 11-year-old students.
“Students learn how to cope with anger, identify how anger affects their bodies, understand their emotional triggers; label emotions and communicate these effectively; respond in proportionate ways; and develop a selection of strategies, including acting assertively and developing problem-solving skills,” the official stated.