On Tuesday 1st November, 2016 sixteen NGHS Peer Helpers made history by attending the 1st
Annual Secondary Schools Caribbean Colour Splash Anti-Bullying Conference held from 9:00
a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Naparima Bowl in San Fernando.
We were also one of the few schools present to perform a dynamic dramatic presentation to open
the proceedings. NGHS performed “Sticks and Stones”, a short, well-received play about the
destructive nature of physical, verbal and emotional bullying as well as conflict resolution
between bullies and victims. We were also treated to fantastic skits and plays from St. Stephen’s
College and El Dorado West Secondary about the life of a bully – the problems he/she faces on a
daily basis (physical, emotional or verbal abuse from parents/guardians) – as well as the dangers
of cyberbullying, respectively. Kevan Calliste, the grandson of Black Stalin, performed a catchy
calypso entitled “The Baddest Gang” encouraging the youths to beat steelpans instead of
inflicting pain on each other by joining his gang of musicians. Additionally, a student of San
Fernando West Secondary (Old Tech) performed a riveting spoken word piece called “Beautiful”
which explored a victim of bullying’s problems with self-esteem and eventual acceptance of her
The morning session was punctuated by a brief but informative PowerPoint Presentation by Dr
Sean Annisette on Cyberbullying. We were educated about the media used to cyberbully
(Facebook, WhatsApp, and Text Messages etc.), instances of cyberbullying which we might
have been unaware of (e.g. sexting) and international programs who treat with the issue (such as
the Don’t Laugh at Me Program). Dr Wendell Wallace, the second feature speaker, also
presented an enlightening PowerPoint (attached below) identifying the types and effects of
bullying as well as combative and preventative strategies against bullying. A lunch break then
After lunch we completed a feedback worksheet about what we liked and disliked about the
conference and proceeded to participate in the interactive session planned. It began with Mr.
Nikoli Edwards, a representative from “We”, a movement founded by Craig and Marc
Kielburger empowering young people to be leaders and change makers, sponsored by RBC. We
were motivated to believe in ourselves enough to speak out against bullying, always recognizing
the difference between ourselves and bullies: the fact that bullies are unaware of the destruction
caused by their words and actions. Furthermore, we were encouraged to take the initiative and do
something bigger than ourselves without waiting for someone to push us in that direction.
This was followed by a question and answer segment with Jeromy Rodriguez, the founder and
President of the Anti-bullying Association of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT), the first of its kind
in the Caribbean and the principal coordinator of the proceedings. Dr Wallace was also present
for questioning. Students were asked simple questions about the information on bullying
conveyed in the morning session. They were also given the opportunity to ask Jeremy and Dr
Wallace questions, receiving prizes sponsored by RBC for their participation. We learned how to
become involved in the AATT by utilizing the contact number on their website along with the
best way for the average student to stand up to bullying: have a non-confrontational talk with the
bully; tell a person in authority and verbalize your stance against bullying (e.g. shout “Stop!
Bullying is wrong!”).
Overall, the edifying conference was thought-provoking and enjoyable. We learned so much
about the types, effects, signs and causes of bullying which we hope to share with the NGHS
student body so that all forms of bullying if at all any, can be completely eradicated at Naparima
Girls’ High School.