Published On: Wed, Nov 7th, 2018

Response to ‘School fights’

StMaartenNews LettersDear editor,

In reference to the editorial titled “School fights“.

While I agree that this has reached a critical stage, I agree with most statements made by the writer and applaud the writer for addressing the issue, there are several questions that comes to mind.

  1. Where does the responsibility start and end of the school(s) (boards);
  2. Rather than solely having parents hold the school(s) (boards) accountable for the safety of their children, why are parents not being held accountable for the behavior of their children ?
  3. Is it not “ironic” that we tend to hold educators, school(s) (Managment/boards), Education board, police officers & Government (all strangers to our youth) responsible, while parents are given a “free pass” for failing to instill “civilized” standards and values into their own children?

While legislation is good and could possibly remedy/minimize some factors in this ongoing issue, I doubt very much that it will play a major factor in resolving the issue.

I firmly believe that any form of legislation possible or attempts by Government, to hold school(s) (boards) accountable/responsible for the safety of students would prove futile unless full cooperation, accountability and responsibility is also legislated for parents.

Establishing both “strict” supervision after school hours (while waiting on busses) as well as a “safe place”, on school premises, for students having to wait for their parents to pick them up would have far more effective results than pressuring school(s) (boards) to fight an uphill battle.

Matter of fact, children should not be “hanging out on the streets” around or left at school up to 30 minutes after school hours.

Each school has their rules, regulations and guidelines. If these are not strictly adhered to by parents and students, in my humble opinion, all attempts by whichever authority will continue to prove futile, unless we move to become a police/military disciplined state.

It has become extremely evident that, by initiating Laws to “protect minors from abuse”, we have overlooked the far reaching consequences that educators, school(s) (boards) and actually even parents face in disciplining minors in this day and age, when executing said Laws.

I therefore have refrained from actively participating in discussions on “attempts” to resolve this seriously critical issue that is endangering the “civilized” development of our children today.

I firmly believe that, should educators and School Managements be given the opportunity to properly/strictly execute their rules & regulation, we would start to see a serious decline in youth violence across the board.

Take note of the students attending which schools that are “always” mentioned in these situations and then ask the question, “What are LU, CIA, St. Dominic, The Mac and Adventist schools doing differently ?

Children are exactly that, “Children”. They should be dealt with accordingly until they have gained sufficient education/knowledge to make “Smart Choices” on their own.

Several other “social issues” contributes greatly to the behavior of these children but again, those schools mentioned have students from all walks of life, living within/coming from many of the same communities.

Again evident that not all parents share the same views/standards in the “upbringing and disciplining” of their children.

For me, it is clear that the “lack of respect for rules and regulations” is the key factor of what we are facing today with “some” of our youth.

How about, instead of all the debates, seminars & discussions, having at least monthly sessions with those schools plagued by these issues ? Speak directly to/with “all” students. Have sessions with parents. Instill values, standards and morals. Expose them to “civilized” lifestyles. Show them the other side of the coin.

Bottomline (in my opinion) is, the solution lays not with our educators, school(s) (boards), bus drivers, police force etc. but solely with Government revisiting the very Laws in place to safeguard/protect our youth and applying strict punishment on those who fail to adhere to rules and regulations and focusing on “early childhood development” of children showing clear signs of being “troubled”.

There are usually signs but we often choose to ignore or turn a blind eye to them, despite the warnings of educators.

The focus on establishing environmentally healthy, clean & crime free communities will also insure the success of solving these issues.

Those are some of my thoughts on the problems and “possible” solutions in this matter.

Do have a blessed day.

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