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DEAR CHRISTINE: Teen crisis on our hands

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

DEAR CHRISTINE: Teen crisis on our hands

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Dear Christine,
Now that the dust has settled just a little on the recent newspaper article showing two students engaging in a sex act, please allow me to share.
First and foremost, I am pleased that the article and photo were printed. There are many hypocrites among us who have lambasted the newspaper, but I am one who was glad that this matter was brought to light.
I also find it very disturbing that those in authority in Barbados would want to turn this matter into a political “battle”, accusing the media of trying to make the Government look bad. What have we come to?
What about standing up and asking our schoolchildren to respect their bodies, take pride in themselves and their respective schools, and desist from doing the stupid things they are currently doing? What about addressing parents or taking the decision to make sex education a subject for primary and secondary schoolchildren?
Why primary schoolchildren as well? It’s because I am aware of some who have been and are being sexually abused.
Wake up, Barbados! We have a crisis on our hands. The issue is not that these students were caught on camera and that the newspaper (thank God) picked up on the story.
The issue is that something like this actually happened and that such things are taking place within the classrooms and along the corridors of our schools.
Let’s say there were no cameras around but occurrences like the one published were still taking place. Would it make the incident any more insignificant? No! So whether or the incident was captured on camera, such incidents still exist in our schools. That, Christine, is what we need to tackle, not blame the Nation for carrying the story and article.
And, if Barbados and the media believe that case was bad, then they should be made aware of other videos which I have seen for myself. In one of these videos now making the rounds, a junior student of a secondary school, still clad in her school uniform, is seen performing oral sex on a male.
And if that is not enough, in another video, a female student also attired in her skirt and blouse is having sex with a male student, while another male student is waiting in the wings, for his turn. Sure enough, as soon as she finishes having sex with one student, she goes on to the next. Christine, this is reality.
And what I have seen and shared are just the tip of the iceberg. I am told that there are numerous other videos out there. So, who do we blame? The media for reporting and showing the public what is taking place within our schools, or the schoolchildren who sit around taking these videos? Do we blame those parents who give their children smartphones, or should we be seeking ways to stop this kind of immoral behaviour from being exhibited among our youth? Who is to blame?
While I agree that schoolchildren should not have smartphones at school, will not having smartphones take care of the crisis we have on our hands, where our schoolchildren are not being taught how to respect themselves?
I am hurting deeply, very deeply, because we as a society need to save our young people – those who are deviant and who lack self-respect.
Christine, I cannot put into words how hurt and frustrated I am. This is not the Barbados I am accustomed to, and if we do not stop the name-calling and finger-pointing when we should be banding together to address what is taking place in our country, we stand to lose an entire generation. Let’s deal with the real issue and get to the root of the problem.
– R.F.
Dear R.F.,
I understand your hurt and frustration and agree that something needs to be done to address the real issues.
You have also made a valid point in stating that sex education should be mandatory, and that the use of smartphones should not be permitted at schools. My concern is, who will bell the cat?
Clearly, we can debate over and over, but we need to take action and do so very soon – the church, the home and the school. Thanks for all you’ve shared.