End Bullying Globally Campaign checks in at Merlene Ottey High
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.