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Jones: Don’t judge the youth

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

Jones: Don’t judge the youth

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Minister of Education Ronald Jones has labelled those chastising young people for recent violent behaviour as hypocrites.

Jones was speaking to students, parents and teachers of the Graydon Sealy Secondary School yesterday during the school’s speech day when he went on the offensive in a bid to defend schoolchildren.

“Yes, we do not want our children to display brutality on the streets. We do not want our children to display brutality and violence in the school,” Jones said.

“But tell me, ye hypocrites of the world, when have we as human beings not shown some disfavourable or unfavourable behaviour?” the minister continued.

Jones encouraged the older generations to remember their villages where he said rum drinkers would sometimes get into fights, showing that such violent behaviour was nothing new.

Additionally, the Minister of Education reminded the public that the Government Industrial School was not a recent creation.

He noted that both institutions were created to deal with “hard-ears children” long before this current generation was born.

Continuing his defence, Jones explained that children were exposed to “the dirt and grime” of previous generations and so it was incorrect to place the burden of expectations on them.

In recent weeks, several series of recent violent incidents involving schoolchildren have come under the spotlight.

A few weeks ago, students of the Frederick Smith Secondary School appeared before the courts after chopping a ZR conductor, following a dispute.

One year ago, a 13-year-old student from the Ellerslie Secondary School once again sparked the national debate on youth and violence after she spat on and kicked a teacher.

Most recently, a student from that same school sustained serious hand injuries after being chopped, following a dispute with a fellow student during lunch time.

While speaking on the incident at the Ellerslie Secondary School’s sixth form launch last month, Jones promised to get tough on the pockets of students carrying out such acts.

In response to these incidents, Jones also ruled out the possibility of metal detectors being installed at schools as a means to handle violence. (AD)