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OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Parents have vital role to play


Rev Errington Massiah

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God is our hope and strength, a very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1.
WHENEVER there is a problem or crisis in the home, society or the workplace, people will begin to call on the church.
Is it only in a crisis that the church is sought or needed?
Quite recently the first vice-president of the Barbados National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations, Shone Gibbs, admitted that violence among school children was out of hand and was a common problem in Barbados. He also said there was need for an intervention of the church and the home.
I have to ask, what can the church do?
I am convinced that the church can do nothing because the problem has gone too far.
If we are to be honest with ourselves, we should be aware that very few young people are going to church these days, a place where they can get spiritual guidance. They do not even attend Sunday school. They have no respect for God or man. These days, adults and young people do not have any need for the church. The church is only needed for funerals. What a pity!
Guidance
I maintain that the children need guidance and this is where the upbringing at home is very important. Is the home serving its real role? The answer is no!
There should be no hiding of this issue of violence in our schools because it is a problem. The school is a place for children to learn and grow up and be good citizens, but our schools seem to be like battle grounds or war zones. What has really gone wrong?
In some cases the weapons being used are knives, chair legs, wood and even metal.
Some will say that there are only a few children who are involved in the practice of violence.  If that is so, the few are too many because one bad apple will spoil the rest of the apples.
Things are so bad and have reached the point where both the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) and the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) have advised their members against stepping in alone to separate fighting school children. Is this what our schools and education system have come to? The school must be a place of peace and comfort for our children and not a war zone.
Violence in our schools is a problem and demands an “all hands on deck” approach.
Remember, children model behaviours and they will emulate those exhibited in the home.

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