Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (left) and President of NOW, Yvonne Walkes, prepare to release the balloons with the assistance of some pupils of St. David’s Primary.

Students at a rural primary school were offered some timely advice today during a pep-talk by the Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo.

In addressing the subject of anger management, she told the young students at the St. David’s Primary School in Christ Church that whenever they were faced with a confrontation they should "walk away", particularly when they were angry and "take some time to think about what is the best thing to do".

She said sometimes when people became annoyed, they did things which they later regretted.

"There are some people who are in prison today because they got angry and did something wrong and it was only afterwards that they realised that they should not have acted so hastily," Dr. Byer Suckoo noted.

She observed that in Barbados and elsewhere, too many people were committing acts of violence. She told the children that they must say no to violence when someone made them angry, contending that "we have to find a better way to deal with our problems".

Her visit to the school was part of the National Organisation of Women’s (NOW) "Let the Violence Go" campaign, which was introduced last year to encourage primary school children to denounce violent behaviour.

During today’s morning assembly at 71 primary schools across the island, students discussed aggression and released 25 purple balloons into the air symbolising the ???letting go of violence’.

President of NOW, Yvonne Walkes, said it was necessary to build confidence in children and help them to use their energy in productive ways to become better citizens. "Viewing a lot of violence, whether it be in video games, in movies, or on the computer, can de-sensitise children and make them not understand that it is a vicious act that is being committed," Ms. Walkes stated.

Principal of the School, Donna Allman, told the children that they all had to learn to live in peace, love and harmony and say no to violence throughout their lives.

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