Violent students, including those appearing in fight videos on social media, lack a proper outlet, says Maloney Government Primary School teacher Najja Cooper.
She was speaking on Monday at the media launch of The Quays Foundation Little Fire: A Project to Counter Violence and Extremism held at Maloney Public Library.
Cooper, a teacher at Maloney the past nine years, said she had seen and been a part of "different areas where children do behave violently." She added that children behave based on what they see.
"This sort of behaviour has been a prevalent norm in our society now especially in the schools. We've seen many, many videos on YouTube, on the Facebook where children are fighting. Where children are beating up and brutally damaging each other. And that's because they don't have an outlet. They don't have a way to express themselves."
She said the Little Fire programme was vital, on time and she was glad it would help youth express themselves.
Quays Foundation Founder and President Derron Sandy said the initiative is designed to create meaningful intervention into the lives of more than 30 "high needs" children, 12 and under, from the Maloney Government Primary School.
"I use the words high needs instead of at risk, because as a poet I believe in the power of words. I believe that these children need a high level of creativity and ingenuity in order to begin to alleviate their impending risks."
"We want these high needs youth to become the fire that flames hope in themselves, their families, their schools and their community."
The programme will primarily involve theatre, art, academic development, counselling sessions and esteem development. It will take place over the next six months, twice per week for just under two hours and sessions will be held at the school.
The programme costs $120,000 and is funded by the U.S. Embassy.