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MPs urged to say sorry

Carlos Atwell

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PARLIAMENTARIANS are being asked to apologise to the nation’s youth for their actions in the House of Assembly on Tuesday.
In a Press release, youth activist and chairman of the Drug Education and Counselling Services, Roger Husbands, is asking those “[palimentarians] who displayed acts of disrespect to the highest Chamber in this island” to apologise for their actions.
Husbands said it was unfortunate young people had to view “this lack of self-control by “big adults” whom he said should know better.
“As a youth advocate, I was very disappointed in the politicians who showed the same type of behaviour our young people display currently within schools, homes and on the street.
“This whole aspect that authority can be disrespected in order to get ‘my point’ across is something our young people are currently facing on a day to day basis,” he said.
Husbands said the attitude of ‘don’t do as I do, but do as I say’ could no longer work anymore in Barbados and called politicians to set proper examples.
“I believe that if we are teaching our young people to be self-controlled, adhere to the code of conflict resolution as a peaceful solution, being assertive but not disrespectful then it means that our leadership has to follow the same protocol,” he said.
Husbands said it was “interesting” to see the Opposition Leader Mia Mottley call a Press conference after they had been asked to leave the House, asking if such a forum would not have been the right way to go in the first place.
“If you couldn’t say it in Parliament, then don’t you think that this would have been the right forum and save our young people this sad and distasteful example of how to deal with situations?
“I am asking those members to publicly apologise and also teach our young people that the behaviour exhibited Tuesday was a mistake and that the correct procedure is to follow rules and regulations.
“No wonder we have gangs in this nation, who callously do as they will, because no longer do we have even leaders following rules and regulations,” he said.
Principal of the Sunbeam Montessori Pre-school, Sandie Field-Kellman, voiced similar concerns.
In a telephone interview, she said children mimicked adults and the behaviour displayed in the House was not something she wished them to emulate.
“They took an oath of office which came with a code of ethics but they have broken the rules of the House.
“It is not even about who is right or wrong. They did not have to behave like that,” she said.
Field-Kellman said teachers were trying to instil decorum in children and teach them to settle conflicts in a reasonable manner and with everything that was happening in Barbados today, this was not the time for the nation’s youth to witness such behaviour from the leaders of the country.
“What messages or morals are they getting? It starts with us adults to set the examples, no matter what sphere of life we are involved in,” she said.