“Self-defence” should be included in schools’ curriculum – psychologist

first_imgWith domestic violence becoming widespread across the country, especially violence against women and girls peaking in recent years, a psychologist who recently earned a Masters in Science and in counselling psychology has noted that she believes self-defence should be taught in schools across the country.This was shared by Raiza Khan during an exclusive interview with Guyana Times on Tuesday.Psychologist Raiza KhanAccording to the psychologist who has been in the field for close to two years, there is a need for self-defence to be taught, as its benefits can be multi-fold.Khan explained, “Often times a lot of the Government organisations and a lot of the schools, what we would encourage them to do is as much psycho-social training and psycho-social programmes, something as simple as developing your sense of identity… I think that what needs to be understood is that self-defence can be helpful in terms of developing empowerment and healthy and active children just like the same reasons you would offer physical education and dance classes and track and field”.She noted that while the Government may already have provisions for classes which may include physical health and wellbeing, what is urgent to be addressed is how children own up to uncomfortable situations which they may not necessarily be brave enough to talk about, although being encouraged to do so.In fact, the psychologist pointed out that the classes which may very well help a child when they age, is really not intended to help fight violence with violence but rather to engage youths on understanding that you can be prepared for an assault since self-defence techniques are not only used when a person’s boyfriend or girlfriend hits them.Important to note is that these classes, she pointed out, can also help to fight crime as many times persons are attacked and are unable to defend themselves.Khan argued, “Self-defence is not only used against your domestic violence partner but we do have crime and women are pick-pockets and men are pick-pockets and young children are attacked on the streets, so it would more be for self-development and being able to protect yourselves from other circumstances not to be used in the case of (only) violence against women”.She alluded to the fact that there needs to be a more holistic approach to understand where violence comes from and what the other party actually sees in the other person while trying to be possessive and how to deal with insecurities.According to her, just as other life skills are being taught in schools such as Home Economics, classes should also be developed geared towards tackling peer pressure, depression and even mental health, as well as dealing with anxiety.“We talk about diabetes, we talk about other forms of medical conditions but we are not talking about mental health in schools,” she posited.The Education Ministry is presently in the process of drafting a new curriculum for schools.The new curriculum is intended to benefit nursery, primary and secondary levels up to Grade Nine, as classes from there on utilise the Caribbean curriculum to prepare for the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC).According to a Senior Public Relations Officer of the Education Ministry, Brushell Blackman the new curriculum will include a number of broad areas, which he acknowledged the Ministry previously overlooked.The new syllabus, will among other things, seek to include oil education he posited.Blackman added the Ministry promised not to drag their feet on the paperwork, as they are fully aware of its importance and vitality at this time.Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson also pointed out how critical it is for the curriculum to be updated, while saying, “This process cannot be a long and drawn out process. I know curriculum writing take time, but it cannot be forever. We don’t have all the time in the world”.last_img read more

Blacks, Latinos more likely to be searched, arrested

first_imgTraffic stops have become a politically volatile issue. Minority groups have complained that many stops and searches are based on race rather than on legitimate suspicions. Blacks in particular have complained of being pulled over for simply “driving while black.” “The available data is sketchy but deeply concerning,” said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington bureau. The civil-rights organization has done its own surveys of traffic stops, and he said the racial disparities grow larger the deeper the studies delve. “It’s very important to look at the hit rates for searches – the number that actually result in finding a crime,” Shelton said. “There’s a great deal of racial disparity there.” He called for federal legislation that would collect uniform data by race on stops, arrests, use of force, searches and hit rates. “This report shows there are still disturbing disparities in terms of what happens to people of color after the stop,” said Dennis Parker, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s racial justice project. He also said better reporting is needed. Like the 2002 report, this one contained a warning that the racial disparities uncovered “do not constitute proof that police treat people differently along demographic lines” because the differences could be explained by circumstances not analyzed by the survey. The 2002 report said such circumstances might include driver conduct or whether drugs were in plain view. Traffic stops are the most frequent way police interact with the public, accounting for 41percent of all contacts. An estimated 17.8million drivers were stopped in 2005. Black, Latino and white motorists were equally likely to be pulled over by police – between 8percent and 9percent of each group. The slight decline in blacks pulled over – from 9.2percent in 2002 to 8.1percent in 2005 – was not statistically significant, Durose said, and could be the result of random differences. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Black, Latino and white drivers are equally likely to be pulled over by police, but blacks and Latinos are much more likely to be searched and arrested, a federal study found. Police were much more likely to threaten or use force against blacks and Latinos than against whites in any encounter, whether at a traffic stop or elsewhere, according to the Justice Department. The study, released Sunday by the department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, covered police contacts with the public during 2005 and was based on interviews by the Census Bureau with nearly 64,000 people age 16 and older. “The numbers are very consistent” with those found in a similar study of police-public contacts in 2002, bureau statistician Matthew R. Durose, the report’s co-author, said in an interview. “There’s some stability in the findings over these three years.” last_img read more

As Iraq war hits new milestone, families grieve

first_imgChristi Larsen misses hearing her son’s voice waft through their Canyon Country home. Bob Slocum misses his son’s smile, the window that let his soft heart shine through his tough-guy demeanor. Melanie House misses sitting next to her husband on the couch, falling asleep next to him each night and raising their 10-month-old son together. On Tuesday, the U.S. lost its 2,000th service member in the Iraq war. To their loved ones, the fallen are much more than names on a list. They’re husbands and sons, wives and daughters, They are voices that used to call from the next room and lips that used to kiss good night. “It just breaks my heart that there’s more than one,” Slocum said. “My heart’s just broken for those 2,000 families. “I’m a proud dad that my son was doing what he was doing. We’ll be forever grateful that he was out there protecting my freedom.” With thousands of soldiers still in Iraq, many parents still live in fear of that fateful knock on the door. Jerry Pennington of Van Nuys said he still remembers flipping back and forth between the Super Bowl and CNN a few years ago, when he saw that a soldier had been killed in Belat, Iraq, the town where his son, Wes, was stationed. “I went into shock,” Pennington said. “I didn’t hear from Wes for three days. Finally, he called me and told me there was a mortar attack at 3 a.m.” Army Cpl. Wes Pennington, now 27, survived the mortar attack with minor wounds and returned home from a year-long tour of duty, but he has orders to return to Iraq next month for another one-year tour. “I’m scared to death,” Jerry Pennington said. “You try not to watch TV, because you don’t want to see what’s going on. You don’t want to answer the phone. You’re constantly looking out your window for two soldiers to walk up to your front door. “It’s an ongoing fear. It never goes away.” Melanie House remembers when the soldiers came to her door last Jan. 26. She was holding her 4-week-old son when she opened her front door to find five uniformed soldiers. “There’s no need to explain why they’re there,” said House, who lost her 28-year-old husband, Petty Officer 3rd Class John D. House. “When these people come to your door, you know why they’re there. It’s every military wife’s nightmare.” In the nine months since her husband’s death, House has become an avid anti-war activist. She held a candlelight vigil in support of Cindy Sheehan in August, and she’s planning another vigil tonight in honor of the 2,000 fallen soldiers. “Two thousand isn’t just a number,” House said. “My family, my son, myself, we’ll never be the same because we lost John. It’s important to ask the question, how many more? Are we going to reach 3,000? 4,000? Who knows?” Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 713-3669 josh.kleinbaum@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “We haven’t moved on, and I don’t think we ever will,” said Christi Larsen, whose 19-year-old son, Pfc. Cole Larsen, died in a vehicle accident in Baghdad on Nov. 13, 2004. “You raise your children to be strong and to be independent thinkers, and when they decide they want to join the military, you just want to wrap them up and put them in a corner and keep them safe. “My son believed in what he did. He was only 19, but he knew the risks. I support it even more now than before.” After learning of the 2,000th American death on the radio, Christi Larsen said she planned to spend her Tuesday night the same way she’s spent just about every Tuesday night for more than 10 months – in an Internet chat room, talking with the relatives of other fallen American soldiers. “Usually there are about 10 or 15 of us,” Larsen said. “There have been some newcomers lately.” Members of the Slocum family held a candlelight vigil on Monday for 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Ricky Slocum, who died in a vehicle crash near Abu Ghuraib exactly one year earlier. On Tuesday, Bob Slocum thought about the thousands of families that must endure a year like he’s had. last_img read more