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Boys’ video about adult verbal abuse is a hit

  • The Victor Scott Hype Kings, from left, Shane Smith, Kingston Lekki, Jahkeyo Seymour and Ayce Simons, with Darren Woods, the Gang Violence Reduction Team’s youth and outreach prevention manager (Photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)

A schoolboys’ video designed to highlight the hurt adults can inflict on children has been a smash hit.

Members of the Victor Scott Hype Kings, a group of primary pupils involved in the larger Hype Kings development programme, said that they had been recognised on the street after their video, which focused on abusive language, was released to rave reviews.

Kingston Lekki, 10, added: “Some people that had been rude to me in the past came up to me afterwards and said ‘I’m sorry for what I did’.”

Kingston was speaking after the six minute-long video’s viewing figures on news sites and social media hit new heights at the weekend.

The video, which was created as part of the Hype Kings programme at Victor Scott Primary in Pembroke, featured the 13 youngsters reading hurtful comments that young children had received from adults.

The comments were submitted on an anonymous basis and attracted about 40 submissions from boys aged 9 to 11.

The video was also part of the Live. Love. Life. anti-violence art exhibition at the Masterworks gallery in Paget, which ended yesterday.

Jahkeyo Seymour, 10, said that the Victor Scott Hype Kings wanted to show how common verbal abuse towards children was and the damage that could result.

He explained: “Some adults need to improve their actions and we thought it would be best if children said how they felt about this.”

Jahkeyo said that the verbal abuse could create emotional and psychological problems that might follow a child into adulthood. He added: “You should never call somebody names because you don’t know what they’ve been through.

“You can’t be talking about someone so negatively because that could remind them of something that happened to them and that they still think about, so you’re hurting them even more.”

Shane Smith, 10, said that the experience taught him about the impact of words.

He added that he learnt that children exposed to abuse could exhibit the same behaviour to others.

Shane said his time in the Hype Kings programme, designed to build character in boys aged 9 to 12, inspired him to be more open-minded.

He added: “I have learnt to get out of my shell and try different things, as well as sharing what’s going on in my life.”

Ayce Simons, 9, said that the programme helped him to speak up for himself and talk about his feelings.

He added: “I was kind of nervous to open up because I don’t get to share a lot of my feelings with new people.

“That’s changed because there are kind people in the programme with me and they’ve helped me out.”

Ayce said that shooting the video had taught him how hurtful comments from adults could damage a child’s self-esteem.

The Hype Kings programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of National Security and the Living Legends Community Organisation.

Darren Woods, the programme manager, said that it was also operated in Elliot Primary School in Devonshire and could be set up at other primary schools.