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Trinidad & Tobago Law Students Create Anti-Bullying Campaign

Bullying. Wikipedia photo.

Bullying. Wikipedia photo.

Sixteen students of the Hugh Wooding Law School participated in the school's Human Rights Law Clinic for the 2014/2015 academic year. The Student Attorneys, from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana completed several individual and group projects, each with a human rights aim.

Among the projects this year was an anti-bullying campaign, which was launched at a local primary school in December 2014. As part of their assessment, the law students were required to administer and execute an educational and charitable project aimed at teaching and promoting human rights.

image from

Students at the Gandhi Memorial Vedic School. Photo used with author's permission.

Student Attorneys Tamara Dolsingh, Rorey Gaya, Ryanka Ragbir and Veneeta Ramsingh undertook this project and chose the Gandhi Memorial Vedic School, as students of that school had recently participated in a walk against bullying.

The inspiration to execute the campaign came from the students’ past experience at a primary school, which they visited just one month before the launch of the campaign. At that school, the students delivered a presentation based on ‘children’s rights’ in line with the United Nations convention on the rights of the child. In giving this presentation, it was observed that the children were particularly interested in the methods of dealing with child abuse and, as a priority of the campaign, bullying.

Durng this experience the law students established that bullying was prevalent in primary schools in varying degrees.

In an effort to combat the issue of bullying, the law students created an anti-bullying kit, comprising a teacher’s manual, a student’s manual, a ‘sorry box’, a suggestion box, colouring sheets, DVD videos and various quotes on bullying.

At the school, the Student Attorneys addressed a standard five class which comprised 61 students. The primary school students were given a summary of the content of the manuals in the kit, namely explanations on the law, the effects of bullying, understanding bullying and ways to peacefully resolve it.

The Student Attorneys presented the kit, and explained how it was to be used. The primary school students voluntarily made a variety of suggestions on how to deal with bullying which were added to the suggestion box. Then, the ‘sorry box’ was demonstrated and some very brave students wrote their confessions in relation to bullying others and made anonymous apologies.

The law students also worked on a ‘pledge wall’ with the primary school pupils, where the young students came up and wrote individual pledges to stick on the wall. The primary school students’ pledges were short and simple but were useful in helping them to take an active role in eradicating bullying.

Following the success of the law students’ visit to the Gandhi Memorial Vedic School, they were invited to participate in a Working Group against Bullying hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization). They hope that by working together with these organizations, they will be able to apply their initiative on a grander scale and, in the process, reach out to more persons whose lives are affected by bullying.

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