bmobile plays part in stopping bullying on social media
Port of Spain, Trinidad, May 23, 2017
Students from 34 schools in Trinidad and Tobago learned that the most important persons in the room when bullying takes place are themselves, the bystanders.
Some 605 students gained this transformational insight at the second annual Secondary Schools Anti-Bullying Conference—organised by Caribbean Colour Splash and supported by bmobile—which was recently held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts.
Project Manager for the Caribbean Colour Splash Committee, Mr. Albert Marshall, said, “The conference is in alignment with the committee’s objective to promote health and wellness and tackle a chronic problem affecting students. This year’s theme ‘Getting to the Root of it, Bullying Identification and Prevention’ focuses on the significance of relationship building and emotional intelligence in the context of identifying what is bullying and how all stakeholders can prevent it. We hope to create a culture change starting with the young persons of Trinidad and Tobago and bmobile’s support is helping us achieve this goal.”
TSTT’s Vice President of Marketing, Camille Campbell, said bmobile was particularly concerned about the use of social media and cellphones to glorify bullies and their bullying. “So we wanted to play a part in informing our young people about the serious harmfulness of this type of behaviour and what they can do to take a stand against it. We will continue to partner with organisations like Caribbean Colour Splash that encourage responsible use of technology among our youth.”
Feature Speaker Dr. Wendell Wallace told the students, “The bystander is the most important person in the bullying triangle because he can act to stop the bullying.” In his presentation, Dr. Wallace, who has published numerous academic papers and books on crime and Caribbean youth gang culture, identified the signs of bullying, as well as means for preventing it.
He pointed out that bullying is intentional and repeated attacks on someone, who is often weaker than the bully or different from the majority in a population, with the intention of causing the person physical or emotional harm.
Dr. Wallace also told his appreciative audience that 50 per cent of the parents in Trinidad and Tobago do not know that their children are being bullied.
One student in attendance at the conference, 17-year-old Shazzim Lambert, of Barataria South Secondary School, said, “This conference is information that was needed by us young ones; [bullying] is something that has been tolerated by victims for too long.”
Lambert said he had witnessed bullying numerous times, and the conference made the role of the bystander “more clear to me. The conference will help me to raise my own and others’ self-esteem because everyone has a voice and their voice should be heard.”
Two of the students proved they had been listening carefully when they successfully identified different forms of bullying, as explained at the conference, and the needs that have to be met in order for bullying to stop. The students, Zachary Allum, of St. Mary’s College, and Precious Nunes of Chaguanas North Secondary, were both awarded special prizes courtesy of bmobile.