Sunday 23 September, 2018

Lure children away from violence by restoring Barbados, says BLP MPs

(L-R) MP or St George North, Cline Clarke; MP for St Joseph, Dale Marshall.

(L-R) MP or St George North, Cline Clarke; MP for St Joseph, Dale Marshall.

The everyday realities of many Barbadian families are fueling the negative behaviour seen among the island's youth. 

That was the message presented by two Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Members of Parliament, during their meeting at the  Grantley Adams Memorial School in St Joseph yesterday.

BLP representative for St George North, Cline Clarke, chastised the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration, stating that there has been little progress in Barbados during their time of governance:

"When you look around Barbados, one can say that they did very little for the people of Barbados. After 10 years of DLP rule, we have very little to show." 

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Adding that too many Barbadians " live from paycheck to paycheck," he made a connection between the economic woes some persons are experiencing with what appears to be an increase in aggressive behaviour among the nation's young people:

"The average household in Barbados is reeling under the DLP administration...

"Some children at this school - and I tell you what I know - some children at this school only go to school, but have no lunch money. And they go home some evening to find their cupboards bare."

He believes that a caring approach needs to be utilised to help them become their best selves:

"Jones, the Minister of Education, called them demons - that these children are demons - but what he does not understand is that these children need nourishment. These children need care."

Member of Parliament for St Joseph, Dale Marshall, echoed similar sentiments.

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As there are increasing calls for "bad parents" to be punished when their children engage in negative behaviour, Marshall brought another perspective on the issue. He noted that many of failing national institutions are impacting on parents and guardians ability to guide their children, as they face dire situations in daily life:

"Think about a mother or father who gets up at 6 o'clock or perhaps 5, takes a 6 o'clock bus to work if ya lucky. You work all day, you go to a bus stand. Seven O'Clock you hoping to get a bus maybe to Pie Corner or Bathsheba if ya lucky. 'Cause by then 2000 people waiting for that bus, because dem ain't had no 5, no 6. 

"And then somebody wants to tell you that you are a bad parent. You manage to get home at 7:30/eight, the dust of the day is on your skin, you're children haven't eaten, you probably got a headache... and de next morning you got to go again. And somebody will tell you that you are not a good parent."

He further stressed that changes needed to be made to the society at large if children are to gain the discipline and focus to overcome the lure of violence:

" I will tell you that what is happening in this school is but a reflection of what is happening in our wider society. You see the stabbings in this school will not be happening if there was not a multiplied set of stabbings in our greater society. The indiscipline in this school will not be felt in the same way that it is being felt now if there was not indiscipline all across our country."