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OUR CARIBBEAN: Challenge of sex crimes at school

Rickey Singh

OUR CARIBBEAN: Challenge of sex crimes at school

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IT IS soul-wrenching to follow the increasing media reports of sexual molestation of children in schools in Barbados.
The horror cases involve not just young teens, but little boys and girls as victims or perpetrators and point to an urgent need for a concerted effort to beat back sexual perversion and immorality.
Barbados is certainly not alone in facing this challenge that threatens the very stout reputation it has  nurtured as a fundamentally Christian-oriented society, once passionate in embracing a so-called “old world” school of morality and social behaviour.
But those who are today sickened to the stomach by the social decay, the sheer wickedness spreading in Barbados which is being manifested in schools, would rightly take no comfort in that it is a curse afflicting other nations and that rampant criminality and immorality are also plaguing other members of the Caribbean Community.
A combination of parental neglect and/or irresponsibility; breakdown in family life; indiscipline and rudeness by children at home and at school; disregard, if not open rebellion against religious values; compromising teachers and generally falling standards in established social behaviour, seem to be the order of the day as sexual perversion flourishes via television and music video.
There are those in public life who even find it expedient to rationalize, if not unconditionally defend lyrics and gestures that are evidently corrupting minds.
Recent public discussions have focused on the offerings of, for example, the Barbadian-born international singing star Rihanna whose S&M music video has been banned from a number of countries for the dirty lyrics on sex.
My children and grandchildren know that I am no fan of Rihanna. But I respect her candour, even though I have a problem with her rationalization to simply remain famous and rich.
Part of her chorus goes like this: “Sex in the air; I don’t care. I like the smell of it. Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me . . .”
When children join adults, or by themselves become excited in singing such lyrics and then to further learn of discussions and advertisements that promote introduction of condoms in schools, are we really helping to build a healthy environment?
Perhaps the time is now, more than ever, for some new initiatives, including  a national consultation on the serious social problems facing Barbados.
It would have to involve informed and respected representatives of all segments of the society to come forward with ideas on   how to beat back the forces of immoralityand criminality.  
Of course, such a consultation must be imaginatively structured with limited working papers – not bulky documents – that offer specific proposals for action and to avoid the occasion being a “talkfest”.