dlewis33/iStockBy IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Police unions are one of the most important guardians of law enforcement in the United States — negotiating salary, benefits and most importantly protections for their members.But that urge to protect also has another side in some cases — a resistance to reforms that they see as a potential threat to the safety of their officers or policing, especially in this time of great unrest. From mandatory body cameras and reports anytime an officer has used their weapon to the expansion of civilian complaint boards, some union leaders have pushed back on proposed changes — for decades in some instances, according to Jack McDevitt, the director of Northeastern University’s Institute on Race and Justice.“Some of the older unions, like ones in places like Boston and New York, have a lot invested in embracing the system that is in place,” he told ABC News.Now, following the large-scale protests and calls for action following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, some unions are expressing openness to change. The National Fraternal Order of Police, which has over 346,000 members, issued a statement last week in favor of Congress’ police reform legislation.“When our citizens do not feel safe in the presence of police, that’s a problem—and the FOP intends to be part of the solution,” the union said in its statement.While McDevitt and other experts say those groups cannot ultimately ignore the calls from the citizens they protect or the need to bring in new voices into their ranks, some are continuing to resist changes that they see as potentially injurious to their members.They also remain deeply concerned about the crimes committed in cities around the country in conjunction with peaceful protests, including attacks on police officers.Last week, the unions representing several New York City police departments, such as the Police Benevolent Association, and other unions representing law enforcement in the state issued a letter condemning the state’s legislature for its newly passed police reform bills.While the group acknowledged that “we share the universal desire for healing and positive change,” it decried the “push for passage of legislation and the adoption of policies that reflect only one perspective” without bringing unions to the table.One of the measures being considered for repeal is Civil Rights Law 50-A, which blocked departments from disclosing records related to officer evaluations. Unions contended the release of the complaints would jeopardize officers’ reputations and safety.“These types of claims are not reliable or fair indicators of an officer’s conduct, and would not be used to impugn any other person,” the unions said in the letter.The Denver Police Protective Association, on the other hand, had a more subdued response to the protests and talked about the efforts it has taken over the years to reform their department, such as more training on cultural diversity and a ban on chokeholds.“There is always room for conversation; there is always room for more improvement benefiting both the officer and the community,” the union said in a statement.“I think some unions are seeing this an opportunity to step up and say how we can make policing better,” McDevitt said.For the unions that are not endorsing reforms, the professor said those groups see these changes as hampering their power to protect their members’ working rights, particularly when it comes to collective bargaining agreements for their members.“They think if there are collective bargaining changes, that they will lose their rights in negotiating salaries or other benefits for their officers if the reforms go through,” McDevitt said. “They come from a place where if management doesn’t want it, then they have to fight it.”At the same time, some unions have used their power to put elected officials in the defensive. The group representing members of the Columbus Police Department, for instance, negotiated language in their 2017-2020 contract that limited the use of civilian complaints to a timetable as low as 60 days.McDevitt added that the unions that are more open to the reforms acknowledge that these changes do come with data proven results that, ultimately, do protect officers.“With body cameras, for example, a lot of time police officers have been reluctant to approve them,” he explained. “In more cases, the cameras tend to show allegations of police misconduct that were proven false.”One problem that does need to be addressed in unions is diversity, according to McDevitt. The professor said this stems from a larger problem over the lack of diversity in police forces nationally, but it is critical that unions put more women and people of color in their leadership roles.While the racial makeup of police largely mirrors the overall population, people of color are underrepresented in leadership roles, especially in smaller police departments, according to data from the Department of Justice.New York police unions received criticism this week after a press conference denouncing proposed legislative action and decrying the treatment of their members in which many in attendance were white males.Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that the group “does not look representative of the NYPD at all,” tweeting a video of New York State Association of PBAs president Mike O’Meara speaking.O’Meara, whose group represents unions in the New York City metropolitan area and elsewhere in New York State, spoke out against Floyd’s killing, but railed against the treatment of officers as a result.PBA president Pat Lynch was also present at the press conference and denounced the “murder of an innocent person,” referring to Floyd. “That’s what happened. Let us be unequivocal.”But he also took issue with legislators who “demonize” police officers “as if we’re the problem.”The PBA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.“The union has to see if they don’t represent the community they won’t have legitimacy in negotiating table,” McDevitt said.Scott Wolfe, an associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University, said the response to police misconduct over the last few weeks have shown that police officers are showing more openness to accountability. Although unions may differ on their stance for reform, a majority have admitted that what happened to Floyd was wrong, which has been a departure from previous controversial police killings, according to Wolfe.“There is virtually no disagreement that George Floyd was murdered and it can’t happen again,” he told ABC News.Wolfe said that this common ground could be the place where police reform activists and unions can come together to achieve the same goal.McDevitt, agreed, and said police unions can increase their bargaining power by taking public’s concerns seriously.“Unions do not have a straight line of responsibility to the public. They answer to their members,” he said. “But when a strong aspect of the public says they’re not doing their job fairly, they have to listen.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Two local students are plotting their paths to college degrees after gaining an educational boost-up from Donegal ETB’s Youthreach programme.Jessica McMonagle (21) and Callum Hall (19) both completed the Youthreach education, training and work experience programme after school didn’t quite work out the way they had planned. They used the two-year programme as a stepping stone into third level. Now, they are both on the Access Programme at LYIT and are looking forward to progressing into their dream courses next year. Youthreach is one of the many Further Education and Training (FET) programmes offered by Donegal ETB’s FET Service. Young people aged 16-20 who left school early and obtained little or no qualifications can benefit from the programme.Students gain a range of national Level 3 and 4 Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) awards during the programme, which are on the same level at the Junior and Leaving Certificates.Jessica and Callum both decided to do the Youthreach programme in the Lifford centre.Former Youthreach students Jessica McMonagle and Callum HallJessica, who is from Lifford, did not get the results she wanted from the Leaving Cert. When she turned 18, she applied for Youthreach and now has the results she needs as she works towards starting a Childcare degree. “Childcare is all I want to do,” Jessica told Donegal Daily. “I’m looking at a course here in LYIT next year.”Callum, who is from Coleraine, moved to Donegal after obtaining his GSCEs. “I never had a plan,” he said, “but I know I want to study something artistic or go into animation.” During Youthreach, students explore a wide variety of subjects including arts and crafts, computers, childcare, hairdressing, office skills, woodcraft and personal development. Jessica said she gained great insights from the work experience element: “I went to a playschool in Lifford, it was brilliant. I stayed with them for a month in July too, I loved it.” Meanwhile, Callum learned from his work experience in a cafe and convenience store.Looking back on the programme, Jessica said that the fun trips and events really stood out for her: “The summers at Youthreach are brilliant. During June we went to different places, we walked the Stairway to Heaven and climbed Errigal.”The learning element is not like school, the students said. “The tutors and group are like a family. They don’t treat you like you’re in school, they treat you like a friend,” Jessica said.Callum added that he liked the way the course was assessed: “Instead of exams we had continual assessment and briefs every couple of days.”Callum recommends the course for young people who are not suited to school-style learning: “I would recommend it to people who go for the right reasons. For people who maybe had trouble in school and still want their qualifications. Youthreach lets you do it in a different way.”The course also provides a weekly training allowance to support students on the full-time programme.Jessica added that she gained more than certificates in the end: “It helped me with my confidence. I think it is a great base.”Both students found out about the LYIT’s Access course through their Youthreach guidance counsellor, Lochlainn McCool, who helped them apply for their next step.“Lochlainn helped us with everything to get us here,” Callum said.Thanks to Youthreach, both Callum and Jessica, and some of their former Youthreach classmates, are enjoying the beginnings of college life at LYIT and looking ahead to seizing more opportunities in the year to come.Donegal’s six Youthreach centres are now enrolling. If you, or someone you know, is thinking about joining the programme, you can find more information at this link: http://www.donegaletb.ie/schools-youth-services/youthreach/.You can also call the Youthreach Centres on the following numbers:Ballyshannon (Aidan) – 071 98 51286Buncrana/Glengad (Jayne) – 074 93 62626Gortahork (Caitriona) – 074 91 35218Letterkenny (Gillian) – 074 91 22585Lifford (Aidan) – 074 91 42114Check us out online!Facebook: DonegalYouthreachTwitter @DonegalYRYouTube: Donegal Youthreach ProgrammeYouthreach is co-funded by the Government of Ireland, the European Social Fund and the Youth Employment Initiative as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.Reaching for great goals after Youthreach was last modified: November 4th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:careersCollegeDonegal ETBeducationfurther educationlyit accessYOUTHREACH
The San Francisco Giants took a ride to the mountain top three times this decade, but as the 2010s draw to a close, the team is farther away from the peak than it could have ever imagined.Three consecutive losing seasons knocked the Giants down to earth and the view from the bottom of the baseball world has left fans disappointed and dismayed.It’s not just the sub-.500 records and the general void of hope that’s led to widespread frustration. It’s the manner in which the Giants have …
Do you get sick too easily? Did you grow up with allergies? One reason might be your home environment is too clean, says a story on PhysOrg. The “hygiene hypothesis” asserts that our immune system over-reacts to lack of stimulation by turning on itself – producing autoimmune diseases and allergies. It “blames increased allergies on cleaner homes, increased air pollution and changes in diet. Obesity and lack of exercise may also play a role.” One researcher at University of Iowa is treating patients with multiple sclerosis and colitis with parasitic worms. He claims incidents of these autoimmune diseases increased when parasitic worms were eliminated from our environment. He thinks they have a “profound symbiotic effect on developing and maintaining the immune system.”Not sure we are ready to go that far and add parasitic worms to the diet – that idea needs much more proof! The principle in this article could, however, help us think differently about some organisms with bad reputations. Remember the milk maidens in Robert Jenner’s day who developed immunity to smallpox by working around cows? Humans apparently need exposure to certain organisms to develop and maintain the immune system. Certain tribes in Africa seem to get along quite well living in harmony with their livestock outdoors in environments that would freak out an American city dweller. Maybe we should stop thinking of parasites as good vs evil, and view them instead as accelerators and brakes. Everything in the living world is in motion. There are constant pushes and pulls. This is true in the genetic world, where promoters and repressors steer the expression of genes in a complex dance. Our immune systems are not going to sit idly by when everything is sterile. Needing stimulation and direction, they will practice on the body’s own cells, like bored firefighters setting the fire station on fire. What’s needed in this view is balance, not isolation. Our bodies are already covered inside and out with bacteria and other organisms, so encounters with more of them is only a matter of degree. The microorganisms, fungi and worms in a new environment may act as alarms to keep our bodies ready. Perhaps they even inject information needed for the body to adapt to the new environment. They only become problematic when they swamp the body’s ability to react – perhaps because the immune response was not adequately exercised during development. Allergies, in this view, are an over-reaction to things that should have been encountered in childhood. These are mere suggestions that need more rigorous investigation. The hygiene hypothesis cannot explain everything. Plagues often ravage tribes close to nature as much as they do city dwellers. Some parasites are nasty in any environment. Maybe some of them had a useful function once but mutated into pathogens. Whatever the balance point, cleanliness is still virtuous. Didn’t we learn that from Joseph Lister? (See last month’s Scientist of the Month). All good suggestions need moderation. Continue to shower and wash your hands. The idea humans need exposure to organisms in natural environments makes sense, though. Would some hospital patients recover faster in gardens open to fresh air? Would incidence of allergies drop with more exposure to nature in childhood? Is working the earth in gardening and farming good for health? These seem like proper subjects for controlled experimentation and long-term population studies. Meanwhile, it’s a good bet to increase your outdoor exposure. Jog outdoors when you can instead of going to the gym. Take your kids camping; go on hikes and visit a variety of outdoor environments. This is unquestionably a better strategy for long-term health than parking them in front of the TV or video games with a bag of junk food. This is a one principle both creationists and evolutionists should be able to agree on.(Visited 39 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
29 May 2006South Africa’s drive to bring the long-excluded majority of its people into the mainstream of its economic life is paying healthy dividends. It is pushing the growth rate – nearly 5% last year – on to a higher trajectory. It has helped the 12-year-old democracy move ahead of India as a destination for foreign direct investment. It was a factor in the 47% total return on equities traded on the JSE last year.Broadly defined, the black economic empowerment strategy hammered out between government and business is helping fuel an economic and social revolution as millions start to enjoy disposable income and upward mobility for the first time. This is making SA an exciting place to do business and one that holds the promise of long-term stability.How real is the transformation? Consider this. Just over 20 years ago, South Africa’s most famous newspaper, the Rand Daily Mail, closed because its readership was increasingly black and of no interest to advertisers. Today, SA’s most successful newspaper is the Daily Sun, a three-year-old start-up targeted at the black working class. Its circulation is 450 000 and rising, and advertisers are clamouring for space.Nearly half a million black adults moved into the middle income bracket last year, according to the South African Advertising and Research Foundation. The number of black people in the upper brackets grew 30% and the proportion of blacks in the top income bracket is now 20%, up from close to zero a decade ago. The rise of black consumers can be seen in surging sales of consumer goods, financial services, property, cars and tourism. This is strongly tied to empowerment. Factors driving it include the rapid increase of black people in white-collar public- and private-sector jobs and the growth of black-owned business.There has been understandable criticism that empowerment in its narrowest form – the encouragement of business to put a more representative share of ownership and control in black hands – has in some instances simply served to enrich a small elite. This was perhaps inevitable as businesses scrambled to find what they considered to be bankable and “connected” partners as a new era dawned.Naturally, some of the brightest black brains, who would have had few other choices other than to embrace the political movement for change during the apartheid era, later might be attracted into business once the opportunities arose. The threat of so-called crony capitalism is being replaced with the promise of building an entrepreneurial culture. The government’s recently published empowerment codes are a step forward. The corporate sector is also climbing the learning curve.The private sector likewise has a responsibility to ensure that empowerment really does undo the horrifying distortions left by apartheid so that a just and prosperous future can rise from its ashes. Empowerment deals such as the ones announced by De Beers, Merrill Lynch and my own company over the past year are increasingly the norm. Beneficiaries will own a growing stake in these companies’ South African subsidiaries. They include employees, customers, emerging businesses as well as strategic black business partners who bring real bottom-line value to the table and are rewarded accordingly.The authorities deserve credit for deliberately avoiding a prescriptive approach to empowerment. Having set broad objectives, they left it to industry sectors to work out how to achieve them.Consultations continue on the details of the scorecard system government proposes to use in awarding contracts, licences and mineral rights.Under the system, companies will earn points for meeting equity ownership targets, appointing black people and women to management positions, developing skills and talent and procuring from small business. The government is sensitive to reservations some foreign companies have about selling equity in their South African subsidiaries and is willing to consider awarding points for “equity equivalents” that advance the common objective.Black economic empowerment is a shared endeavour. What we are trying to achieve is difficult. There are no perfect models to follow. But even with the mistakes we have made, the rewards of getting it right are already manifest in our dynamic economy.And we will get it right. South Africans are pragmatic problem-solvers who listen and strive to build consensus as the foundation for lasting solutions. That is one very good reason anyone wanting to do business in SA would want to find local partners – they add real value.Jim Sutcliffe is the chief executive officer of Old Mutual. This article originally appeared in the Financial Times.
World No. 1 Andy Murray has criticised the state of 2017 Wimbledon’s grass courts, thus joining the list of players who have expressed unhappiness over the same.The defending champion said the courts are not the same as they used to be in the past are not in good condition.”The court I don’t think is in as good of condition as previous years,” Murray was quoted as saying by Sport24 after beating Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 on Centre Court on Friday to enter last 16.”There’s quite a few spots on the court, like just behind the baseline and just in front of the baseline, where there’s quite big lumps of grass, sort of almost like little divots there, which I don’t remember really being the case,” he added.However, the Wimbledon officials on Friday dismissed concerns over the state of the courts, saying, “The court preparation has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years.””Grass is a natural surface and it is usual for the baselines to start to be showing signs of wear and tear four days into the championships,” the All England Club said in a statement.American tennis star Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered a horrific right knee injury after her buckled at the Court 17 on Thursday.However, it was not clear whether the state of the surface had anything to do with Mattek-Sands’ accident.Other players have also criticised the state of courts with Kristina Mladenovic of France claiming that a hole had appeared in the surface of Court 18.advertisementMladenovic, the 12th seed, had also criticised the state of the courts and said on Thursday that there a hole on Court 18 and that she and opponent Alison Riske had wanted to stop playing.”The colour of the court, the fact that there’s no more grass, the fact that the baseline where we are running, it’s very slippery. There’s no grass,” said Mladenovic.”There was a huge hole on the side. It was not even flat,” she added.Other players including Timea Bacsinszky and Caroline Garcia have also made similar complaints, with the latter claiming the court played differently depending upon on the time of day.
TweetPinShare0 Shares TORONTO (AP) — This time, LeBron James didn’t have to do it all by himself.James had 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds for his 21st career playoff triple-double, J.R. Smith scored 20 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Toronto Raptors 113-112 in overtime on Tuesday night to win Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.Kyle Korver scored 19 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime after Cleveland never led in regulation. Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have eliminated Toronto in each of the past two postseasons.“My teammates were unbelievable tonight,” James said. “They stepped up when I wasn’t at my best.”Jeff Green scored 16 points and Kevin Love had 13 rebounds.James, who topped 40 points three times in seven games against Indiana in round one, shot 12 for 30 against Toronto, going 1 for 8 from 3-point range, and called it “probably one of my worst games of the season.”Still, James came through when it counted, tying the score with two baskets in the final 92 seconds of regulation to complete Cleveland’s comeback from a double-digit deficit.“It got to a one-possession, two-possession game,” James said. “That’s what I like the most.”Toronto’s Fred VanVleet missed a 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds to go in overtime that could have won it for the Raptors, who couldn’t hold on after taking a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter.Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) and guard Kyle Lowry (7) react after Valanciunas missed a shot late in the second half second, as Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) holds the ball during Game 1 of an NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)“He got a heck of a shot,” Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan said. “I’ll live with him shooting that shot 10 times out of 10. We got a good look and it just didn’t fall.”Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 21 rebounds, Kyle Lowry had 18 points and 10 assists, and DeRozan scored 22 points for the Raptors, who host Game 2 on Thursday night.The Cavaliers beat the Raptors in six games in the Eastern Conference finals in 2016 before going on to win their first NBA championship. Last year, Cleveland swept Toronto in the second round.Korver’s 3 early in overtime gave the Cavaliers their first lead of the game, 108-105.Lowry’s three-point play made it 113-112 with 57 seconds to go and, after the Cavs were called for a shot-clock violation, Toronto had one more chance to win, but VanVleet couldn’t come through.“We feel good about the win but I think we were also very fortunate,” Korver said.VanVleet was one of four Raptors to miss in the final seconds of regulation. Toronto got four looks at the potential winning basket but missed all four, including a wide-open 3 by VanVleet, giving Cleveland the ball with 0.6 seconds remaining. Green inbounded to James, but his shot bounced off the rim.The Raptors shot 5 for 24 in the fourth quarter, with Valanciunas missing six of seven attempts. Toronto missed its final 11 shot attempts in regulation.“I don’t know if it was nerves or yips or what,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Just things that shot ourselves in the foot when we had a 10-point lead.”DeRozan scored 11 points in the first, connecting on five of eight attempts, and Lowry had eight points and five assists as Toronto led 33-19. James was 3 of 5 in the first but the rest of the Cavs shot 4 for 18.Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) and teammate Jeff Green (32) celebrate after the Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors during Game 1 of an NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)James, who averaged more than 41 minutes in Cleveland’s first-round series against Indiana, checked out with 3:31 left in the first. With James on the bench, the Cavs scored two points the rest of the quarter.Green and Smith each scored 11 points in the second and the Cavs found their shooting stroke, connecting on 14 of 22 attempts. James had five assists in the period as Cleveland cut the deficit to 60-57 at halftime.VanVleet took exception to a shove from James at the end of one play and made an attempt to get at the Cavs star, but was restrained by teammates.Valanciunas had 13 points and eight rebounds in the third, but Korver scored 10 points and James had eight to keep the Cavs close. Toronto led 87-82 heading to the fourth.“He was kicking our butt in the third quarter,” James said of Valanciunas. “Luckily, I just felt like he wore down a little bit in the fourth.”TIP-INSCavaliers: James is second only to Magic Johnson (30) in career playoff triple-doubles. … James dove into a courtside broadcast table in search of a loose ball late in the fourth. … Love missed all four of his shot attempts in the first went 1 for 7 in the first half. He finished 3 for 13.Raptors: Toronto had 10 assists on 13 made baskets in the first. … The Raptors had nine turnovers in the first half, leading to 15 points for the Cavaliers. They finished with 14, leading to 21 Cleveland points. … Actor Wendell Pierce attended the game.LEAVING IT LATEAccording to ESPN, the Cavs are the second team in the past 20 postseasons to win a game in which they never held a lead in regulation. The only other team to do it was Dallas, which won at Oklahoma City on May 23, 2011.RAP BATTLECleveland’s Kendrick Perkins traded angry words with rapper Drake, Toronto’s global ambassador, as the teams walked off at halftime, and again at the end of the game. Former Raptors guard Jose Calderon stood in front of Drake during the halftime exchange as Smith gently moved Perkins toward the locker room.GAME ONE WOESToronto is 2-13 in playoff series openers.UP NEXTGame 2 is Thursday at 6 p.m.—By IAN HARRISON , Associated Press
If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! The offense didn’t quite come out of the gate guns blazing last Thursday in Mount Pleasant, with a notably conservative attack limiting the Cowboys to just 24 points. The first home game of the season is Saturday evening, and here are three things I expect to see from the offense on Saturday.ATTACKThe offense spu-spu-sputtered initially, but part of that was due to conservative play calling and also a lack of execution. The Cowboys claim to run an air raid offense, and I think that’s exactly what they’ll do from the start on Saturday. Rudolph will be spraying darts all over the field.Opening up the field in the passing game should allow for the offense, and specifically the running game, to open up. That starts with the Cowboys going into attack mode early.Improved offensive lineDid the offensive line look bad last week? Not necessarily.Altogether, the team rushed for just over 150 yards. It’s good, but I think that number will definitely improve this week.Again, part of this I think will be dependent on play calling. When the halfback dive is ran consistently, it doesn’t quite keep the defense on the heels. I think the more diverse play calling will ultimately lead to a more impressive offensive line – especially against an FCS opponent in UCA.Big playsLast week against Samford, Central Arkansas gave up 4 touchdowns that went for longer than 35 yards, which included touchdown runs of 54 yards and 49 yards. They gave up over 5 yards per carry – a number I am sure Gundy would be pleased to come away with.
Recommended for you Related Items:#magneticmedianews ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKingston, Jamaica, January 27, 2017 – The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has provided support to the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) ‘Break the Silence’ campaign in the sum of $11.9 million through the Basic Needs Trust Fund.The Break the Silence campaign is an initiative with a multi-pronged approach to protect children against abuse. It aims to reach victims and their families with a message to speak out and denounce child abuse and break the stigma of shame that surrounds the issue of child sexual abuse as a first step to help. It was developed after an island wide survey showed that for every 10 adults who admitted that they knew about cases of child abuse, only one was willing to come forward to make a report.Project Manager of the Basic Needs Trust Fund, Celia Dillon, tells JIS News that the JSIF is assisting the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, under which the campaign falls, to inform persons on the importance of reporting instances of child abuse. She informs that the JSIF funded the extension of the campaign last year at a cost of $4.8 million, with an additional $7.1 million towards the production of a storybook, which is to come on stream. There is also a training segment to be undertaken. “We assisted the OCR directly in their school tours, focusing mainly on (six) of our schools targeted under the Basic Needs Trust Fund… teaching the students how to report, identify and respond to instances of abuse against children,” Ms. Dillon explains. The extended ‘Break the Silence’ campaign ran from June to December 2016 and included radio and television advertisements, and information posted on social media platforms.The six schools were: Mandeville Primary, Christiana Moravian Primary and Infant, Old Harbour Primary, Ocho Rios Primary, Discovery Bay All-Age, and Brown’s Hall Primary. The school tours took the form of open day discussions with representatives from the OCR, Office of the Children’s Advocate and the Child Development Agency. “Guidance Counsellors in those schools have informed that there has been an increase in cases reported to them. On one side that is sad to hear, but on the other side, the school tours worked and the kids felt comfortable in going to their guidance counsellors to let them know what has been happening to them,” Ms. Dillon says.She notes that the local television and radio aspect of the campaign is finished and efforts are being made to get more funding. “We are constantly trying to see if we can get additional partners to help us along this journey. We see how relevant it is…we are seeing too much of it in our papers now and our children absolutely need help,” the Project Manager adds.Meanwhile, training workshops are to be held with Ministry of Education Regional Officers, principals, teachers, and Parent-Teacher Association Executives on how to conduct readings with students using the storybook. Ms. Dillon tells JIS News it is hoped that the book will be released and launched by April this year. The book has received approval from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and will be added to the Family Life curriculum.The Storybook package will include: a full colour illustrated storybook, accompanying DVD with illustrations, narration, sign language translation, music and an accompanying teacher’s guide. The message of identifying, responding and reporting abuse is appropriately packaged into a story to suit the target audience of children eight to 12 years old. There will also be 60 Braille copies of the book, as requested by the Ministry’s Special Education Unit, for distribution in schools. “This book is targeting vulnerable groups, so it is extremely important that when we are getting this message out there, it gets to all persons who may be affected by cases of child abuse,” Ms. Dillon says. A mandatory parents’ forum is to be held in each school one to three months after principals and staff have been engaged.The Break the Silence campaign was first launched during the period 2015-16 and it featured several prominent celebrities and business leaders encouraging persons to report physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children. The programme, supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was a direct response to the ‘Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices’ survey on child maltreatment in Jamaica, which the OCR commissioned with technical and financial support from UNICEF. The OCR received more than 44,000 reports of child abuse for the period 2007-2014.Persons can make a report of child abuse to the OCR by sending an email to: [email protected]; or by visiting the four OCR offices located in Kingston, Manchester, St. Mary and Westmoreland. Persons can also call the OCR toll free at: 1-888- PROTECT (776-8328) (Flow) Tel: 908-2132, 908-2143 (Flow); 618-5888 (Digicel landline); 754-9133 (Flow); 631-8933 (Flow); 631-8908 (Flow); Cell: 822-7031 (Flow) 878-2882 (Digicel); and Fax: 908-2579. Photo credit: Jamaica Gleaner