Social Media’s Role and the Vexing Issue Of Violence in Schools

Mac Fingall, retired Master of the Lodge School

To borrow Malcom Gladwell‘s definition of tipping point, it is  “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point“. BU’s definition, it is that moment when a momentum is created that drives change that is irreversible.

The BU household is of the view that the spotlight which social media continues to shine on the violence in our schools- although symptomatic of the problem- is pushing the the society to the boiling point of awareness where each one of us will accept we have to rollup our sleeves and take ownership of the problem.

To those who constantly harp that violence in schools is nothing new, you are correct. In April 2006, over a decade ago, the Nation newspaper published an article Danger Zone that quoted a study by Director of Youth Affairs Richard, “one in every five students has carried a weapon to school, the majority of which have the potential for serious or fatal injury”. Carter concluded, “How have we reached a stage where 41 per cent of our public secondary school students have seen a gun up close in their community; where 28 per cent have held a gun; where 25 per cent have carried a weapon when going out and 60 per cent feel that it is necessary to carry a weapon in today’s society?”

In 2008 Joy Gittens presented at the Caribbean Union of Teachers’ (CUT) Educational Conference under the topic  – Violence & Indiscipline in Schools: Challenges The Experience of Barbadian Secondary Schools citing the Carter study. Her 10 recommendations back then were:

  1. A deliberate programme to determine and reduce the level of felt alienation among students. (14% dislike school)
  2. Increasing the level of active participation in life of school through membership of groups and organisations. (45% are not members of group/org.)
  3. Developing/Preserving the physical integrity of the school compound either through use of security guards and/or fencing. (27% cited lack of fencing/security as reason why school is unsafe)
  4. Enforcing a consistent policy in relation to deviant and anti-social behaviour in the school. (29.5%
    cited inconsistency as reason why problems not dealt with well)
  5. Determining students who have experienced violence in personal lives and develop programme to respond to their circumstances. (14% have experienced a violent incident in all three contexts: home, community and school)
  6. Creating/building a caring and supportive environment within the school (or convince students if it already exists). (38% feel teachers care little or not at all about students’ problems)
  7. A greater and more consistent level of supervision of students. (More than 80% have seen weapons, more than 50% have seen drugs, 60% report at least weekly fights)
  8. Providing students with the skills to negotiate and resolve conflict. (Of those who had been involved in
    a fight at school more than 60% indicated that they could have “negotiated” the conflict)
  9. Active implementation of “power-to-search” provision of the Education Act. (21.3% have carried a weapon to school, 30% said its easy to get drugs at school)
  10. Earlier intervention strategies in relation to substance abuse prevention based on a greater degree of imagination, sophistication and creativity. (Average age of first usage 10 years of age, complex socio-cultural drivers of experimentation and abuse)

To give context to the problem of violence in schools our regional neighbour Trinidad and Tobago as far back as 1998 the education authorities convened a National Consultation on Violence and Indiscipline in Schools to discuss the most thorny issues in the school system grouped under drugs, arms and ammunition, extreme violence and assault on members of staff. Several recommendation were made, BU ask you to judge almost 20 years later if T&T has been able in wrestling the problem to the ground and are we able to learn from their experience.

See presentation – Violence and Indiscipline in Schools The Experience of Schools in Trinidad & Tobago

Further research was conducted by Martin Hall in his dissertation Violence in Schools: A Comparison between Older Secondary Schools, Newer Secondary Schools and Wards (Government Industrial Schools) in Barbados. The following excerpt attracted the attention of the BU household:

The predicted outcome of the study is that all three areas of measure would reveal some level of violence but that on a scale GIS would be higher than the older and newer secondary schools and that the newer secondary schools would show a higher level of violence than the older secondary schools. This might be so because of the categories that these three levels are placed in society. With the older secondary schools being labelled as prestigious, the newer secondary being labelled as not as academic and GIS labelled as the deviant group.

The objective of the submission to this point is to confirm that there is an abundance of informed study to deflate the emotionalism attached to the issue of violence in the school system. We know the root causes and a mountain of recommendations exist to intelligently attack the problem.

What has puzzled the BU household is the unwillingness of the authorities to leverage what Mac Fingall was able to achieve at the Lodge School when he almost singlehandedly restored the reputation of the school. Here is an interview with Fingall the BU household  watches from time to time when others throw their hands in the air and lament the failing of the school system and little hope.

We are confident that social media will be the oomph that forces the country to deal frontally with the matter of violence in schools.

We live in hope.

We need our leaders to stand up!

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68 Comments on “Social Media’s Role and the Vexing Issue Of Violence in Schools”

  1. Patricia Jackman May 21, 2017 at 6:36 PM #

    I totally agree with Mr Fingal former teacher. Children need to understand who is in charge, they need to disciplined and it starts at home. And there needs to be some kind of mentoring in school. What is the church doing? Great opportunity here to help train up children in the way they should grow, not taking the responsibility from parents but we are at a point now where someone has to take drastic measures and let’s get our children back on track. Let it not be a case of if you don’t hear you will feel. That is not a solution. If something is not done now we will be building more institutions for possibly God forbid future criminals of some sort. Let us wake up, let the church wake up. I have grown up hearing phrase BARBADOS BELONG TO GOD! I dare ask does it really?. This is just my humble opinion as a parent. Thank you.

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  2. angela Skeete May 21, 2017 at 7:08 PM #

    wunna parents need to get off wunna backside and do wunna job parenting instead of buying designer sh..it and given them to the children thinking that type of materialistic garbage would do the job of parenting ,
    the children have gone amok because of bad parenting and expecting some on else or institution to step up and do the role of parenting is bold faced socialism
    some of these parents have no business being parents in the first and the state should have in place mandatory programs in parenting for parents who have children that demonstrate anti social behavior other than that the state has no business in the job of child rearing ,let those who owns these children take the burden and full responsibility of the child up bringing,

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  3. David May 21, 2017 at 7:30 PM #

    This graphic taken from the document attached says it all . It would hardly have significantly changed from the single family from then compared to now.

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  4. de pedantic Dribbler May 21, 2017 at 8:04 PM #

    @David, excellent essay.

    I take back every intemperate thing I ever said about you…. LOLL

    Re Mac he surely did wonderful stuff at Lodge and although this is no name game let’s also recognize similar work by people like Mr Perkins at St. Michael and as a startup Mr Blackman at Deighton Griffith (And more direct comparisons: Green at Kolig and Wason/Small at Waterford….)

    My point simply is that there were of course other instances where strong leadership made a telling difference at other place.

    But the focus is Mac and I was indeed quite impressed with.the success and visibility he brought to Lodge during his tenure.,,particularly the young men and women he mentored into entrepreneurship as artists.

    Regrettably your other point that years on the authorities are dragging their feet is key.

    One can also note that hard-charging people like Mac will run afoul of norms or officialdom eventually and there must a be a strong back end to overcome…

    But enough said….great essay.

    Like you …I ‘keep hope alive’.

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  5. Bernard Codrington. May 21, 2017 at 8:44 PM #

    Where there is no national agreement as to what constitute proper behaviour and where there is no national agreement as to how to reward good behaviour and punish bad behaviour ,the society gravitates to confusion and chaos. For almost two decades there was disagreement among the persons charged with the education and training of the youth about corporal punishment in schools and in homes. This created a vacuum. The youth are pushing the envelopes to see how the authorities will react in the same way that the criminals are pushing the envelope on crime and punishment. Have there been clear, consistent policy announcements by the Education Ministry about incidences of violence in schools over the past nine years.?

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  6. Bernard Codrington. May 21, 2017 at 8:50 PM #

    There was a time in this country when parents ,teachers , and the Education authorities shared the same values and aspirations. Today everyone has his own value system and aspirations.

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  7. David May 21, 2017 at 9:00 PM #

    How do we pull it back Bernard?

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  8. Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 9:15 PM #

    We have had an ample supply of good teachers and top class heads from time to time.Stories abound however of an outstanding head named Deighton Griffith.His enthusiasm appeared boundless such that he was known to stand without the class room and rate the unsuspecting teacher as to the quality of his teaching and the responses of his charges.He was known to walk in and embarrass some who were teaching ‘foolishness’.Deighton from one side and Merton Bowen from the other side of the corridor,listening and assessing.Deighton was known to give teachers homework.The man was a no nonsense head;took no dissent from either teacher or pupil but fair to all.

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  9. David May 21, 2017 at 9:20 PM #

    @Gabriel

    To what extent has the change in structure of the management of the school with the introduction of governing bodies comprised poltical lackies contributed to the decline?

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  10. Bernard Codrington. May 21, 2017 at 9:55 PM #

    @ David at 9:20 and 9:00 Pm

    The Boards had a fixed composition that did not change except for the GOB appointees. The headmaster , staff and prefects enforced discipline in the schools. There were certain ethical principles applied especially respect. What was described for Deighten Griffith, if true, could not happen at the older secondary schools.
    Perhaps that is the reason for the breakdown in discipline. Respect of student for masters and respect of masters for students were part of the ethos of the school. The head master would not enter a form room when a master is teaching. In fact the teachers room was out of bounds to the Headmaster.

    At most schools the reported student was asked to give reasons why he should not be flogged.

    We need to get back to consistency in application of the rules.

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  11. Bernard Codrington. May 21, 2017 at 10:07 PM #

    Any child, in school uniform ,was in charge of the headmaster from the moment he left home until he returned home. In my day a whole bus load of boys were flogged at the top of the school gap as each demitted the bus. The conductor had called the school and reported their bad behaviour. Imagine that, 42 boys each getting three strokes and no help from deputies or departmental heads. The Headmasters worked real hard in those days.

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  12. Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 10:21 PM #

    In my day our school had a governing body.That body played a major role in shaping the ethos of the school with its authority to the school clearly defined .The school bore the imprint of the governing body and the headmaster.On the other hand as I recall the board of management is appointed by the Minister and is accountable to the Ministry.There is no doubt that the minister has the defining role in this latter arrangement.

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  13. Simple Simon May 21, 2017 at 10:36 PM #

    @angela Skeete May 21, 2017 at 7:08 PM “let those who owns these children take the burden and full responsibility of the child up bringing,”

    Nobody owns children. One human being cannot own another, at least not in Barbados.

    If you start your argument wrong, ya bound to come to the wrong conclusion.

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  14. Simple Simon May 21, 2017 at 10:41 PM #

    I can’t add anything to the discussion, as I never witnessed a fight while I was a school.

    I went to one of those public secondary schools which had a no beating policy. The teachers did not beat the children, and the children did not beat each other.

    The no beating of anybody policy seemed to work, but i know that nobody wants to hear that.

    So I don’t have neffen to say.

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  15. Simple Simon May 21, 2017 at 10:42 PM #

    I’ve never seen a gun either.

    But I know that nobody wants to hear that either.

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  16. Bernard Codrington. May 21, 2017 at 10:44 PM #

    @ Gabriel at10:21 PM

    And that is where the problem occurs. Having chosen the Board , the minister should not micromanage the Board. Similarly the headmaster should not instruct a teacher how to manage his classroom nor subject matter. In both cases you appoint the persons because of their skill sets and allow them to do their jobs.

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  17. Simple Simon May 21, 2017 at 10:51 PM #

    @Gabriel May 21, 2017 at 10:21 PM “In my day our school had a governing body.That body played a major role in shaping the ethos of the school with its authority to the school clearly defined .The school bore the imprint of the governing body…

    I hope not always as the longtime head of my school’s governing body was as gay as a butterfly.

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  18. Simple Simon May 21, 2017 at 11:00 PM #

    @Bernard Codrington. May 21, 2017 at 8:50 PM “There was a time in this country when parents ,teachers , and the Education authorities shared the same values and aspirations.”

    Really?

    Back in my day it was an open secret that the principal was livin’ wid the secretary of the governing body, and the principal did not speak to the woman who sold in the yard as the vendor was the mother-in-law of the secretary to the governing body.

    Yup an older secondary school with proper traditional 1960’s values.

    Lol!!!

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  19. Bernard Codrington. May 21, 2017 at 11:14 PM #

    @ Simple Simon at 11: 00 Pm

    My remarks are in respect of of the training and discipline of school children. The matters you refer to did not exercise the attention of the pupils nor their parents.

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  20. William Skinner May 21, 2017 at 11:38 PM #

    Our authoritarian approach to school plant management is self defeating and backward. Perhaps there is widespread boredom among the student population and an absence of modern record keeping of students’ behaviour and remedies used to counter negative attitudes. Are our teachers receiving and benefiting from training in modern class room management and discipline? Are the physical conditions of the school plant negatively affecting teachers and students ? Are the protracted conflicts between the teachers’ unions and government impacting on the student population?
    When young impressionable minds observe long periods of confusion, they tend to take advantage of the situation.
    We need to avoid the one size fits all approach to national development and reconsider how we use resources to counter society’s negative trends. Can we really justify spending such a considerable portion of our resources on an education system that seems to be breeding chaos?
    This is not the time for feel good flights of nostalgia.

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  21. Simple Simon May 22, 2017 at 12:51 AM #

    @Bernard Codrington. May 21, 2017 at 11:14 PM “My remarks are in respect of of the training and discipline of school children. The matters you refer to did not exercise the attention of the pupils nor their parents.”

    Dear Bernie:

    I beg to differ. The children were well aware of the mis-behaviour of their elders. I am amazed how often adults think that children don’t know of adult mis-behaviour. We adults are so very good at fooling ourselves. The children were aware, but the difference is we knew that it was mis-behaviour if it was being done by the principal, and we determined not to emulate the bad behavior of our elders.

    And as for our parents, they too were aware especially as in this case the chair of the governing body was regularly parked out with his lover where the parents saw him on their way from weeknight service. And yes the parents shared the bad behaviour with their children even–although perhaps they should not have–while making it clear that this was bad behaviour even if done by the board chair, bad that we must never emulate it.

    Children and their parents nowadays seem so foolish. They seem to want to copy everything that their “betters” do even when it is clear to a blind man on a trotting horse that the “betters” are WRONG.

    So no Bernie.

    There were never any glorious good old days.

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  22. William Skinner May 22, 2017 at 5:11 AM #

    @ Simple Simon
    “There were never any glorious good old days.”
    Children also knew who were alcoholics and who administered spiteful beatings. Sometimes we just like to believe that the “good old days” were a lot better than they actually were.
    ” We adults are so very good at fooling ourselves. The children were aware, but the difference is we knew that it was mis-behaviour if it was being done by the principal, and we determined not to emulate the bad behavior of our elders.”
    Those who believe that the current conflicts between the teachers and the ministry /minister of education are not impacting on the students are “adults fooling themselves”

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  23. angela Skeete May 22, 2017 at 5:23 AM #

    Sick and tired of all these excuses . Now the education system must take most of the responsibility of parenting bull sh.it. The child spends a minimum of 7hrs per day in a five day work week with various teachers , the bulk of remaining time with the parent, Where does the parent responsibility starts in guiding the child or it doesnt matter,
    Then in all this madness when the child disobeys the rules the loud noises would begin with half of society taking the parent side and the other half taking the teacher side.
    All this have been played out several times over the past years , The Fact being that parents must be more active in making decisions that are in the development of their children for the better and stop sitting around believing that outsiders knows better while placing their children lives in the hands of those who for the most part have lives of their owns to deal with
    in a chaotic world ,
    Furthermore teachers job should not be burden with the additional job of parenting which can add stress to their own personnel lives

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  24. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 22, 2017 at 5:55 AM #

    PTAs need to have a more involved role in the public schools as they do in the private schools, adults HAVE TO start acting as adults, then the children will know how to act as children.

    As a said, from government down the children have no inspiring leadership or guidance.

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  25. Observing May 22, 2017 at 7:21 AM #

    @David

    Good job. Emotion and knee jerk reactions will not solve this problem.

    Keep up the objective dispassionate discourse.

    Always observing

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  26. David May 22, 2017 at 7:46 AM #

    Thanks Observing, keep shining the light.

    Like

  27. Gabriel May 22, 2017 at 8:32 AM #

    As I recall my primary and secondary,and even tertiary days,I never knew who was doing what to whom.It never entered my thoughts that I should be involved in discussing anything like people’s idiosyncrasies or their known or unknown foibles.I have very pleasant memories of my youth and got whipped when it was thought I stepped outside the boundaries of what was acceptable behaviour like anyone else because ‘boys will be boys’.Of the three levels of education,secondary is the most memorable…games of hockey,baseball cricket,football, track and field,the military,music theory and practical,the daily chance encounters and exchanges with the opposite gender on the walk to Weymouth via Constitution Road and Halls Rd,the St George bus stand with the pretty lassies out of St George and St Joseph.There was so much activity in my time there was no room for combat of a fistic nature.Too much competition keeping up with the yearly additions to the crop of beauties.

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  28. Simple Simon May 22, 2017 at 10:53 AM #

    A part of the truth is that too many of us adults do not wish to discipline ourselves. If promiscuity is our thing we want to continue being promiscuous, if beating our woman is our thing then we want to have the right to continue beating her, if getting drunk every weekend is our thing then we want to have the right to continue getting drunk, if gambling is our thing then we want to have the right to continue gambling, if calling in sick is our thing when we know very well that we are not sick then we want to continue our lying ways, if thieving is our thing then we want to continue thieving, if underpaying, shaming, and mistreating our employees is our thing than we want to continue underpaying, shaming, and mistreating our employees. If lying to and mis-leading the electorate is our thing, then we want t continue lying to and misleading the electorate.

    And then we wonder why our children rebel when we try to discipline them? Very soon they will not only be beating each other in the streets, they will be beating us in the privacy of our homes and nursing homes.

    Lolll!!!

    The fathers [and mothers and teachers, and politicians and pastors and priests] have eaten sour fruit, and our children’s teeth are set on edge.

    Corey Worrell asked what time is it?

    Long past time to correct ourselves…if we have any hope of correcting our children.

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  29. Simple Simon May 22, 2017 at 11:09 AM #

    Coming very soon to a nursing home near you, or worse still coming to you in the privacy of your own home, those very girls fighting outside of the school, and those very girls who stood by and laughed and cheered.

    And when you are in your 70’s and 80’s and have had one or two strokes you will not be able to fight back.

    Do we want to correct ourselves

    Or not…

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  30. Vincent Haynes May 22, 2017 at 11:13 AM #

    Simple Simon

    On point…..my recollection of Cawmere was that the new yearly intake without an older relative around were head slapped,in my time it was all male and testosterone was rampant during robust games resulting in fights,flogging was readily invoked and life at the teachers level was under continous scrutiny as to who was dallying with who,the alcoholics,homosexuals of both genders and who cussed out who.

    I will say that I enjoyed my school days at Cawmere,other than book learning it taught me how to think and to settle my differences with mouth or fists whichever was needed at the time and not to rely on teachers or parents,group interaction,boxing lessons under Broody,how to deal with cuts and bruises,leadership…..in essence what they used to say about schools making a man of you.

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  31. Simple Simon May 22, 2017 at 11:13 AM #

    I mean here we are in 2017 and we have a leading opinion maker who takes pride in broadcasting his drinking and his opinion that “he doesn’t believe in breathalysers?”

    These are the people who lead us.

    And we don’t expect to go to hell–right now, right here on earth?

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  32. David May 22, 2017 at 11:15 AM #

    Note that included in the disertation that many on BU have not read, Martin Hall addresses- using scientific methods- the rising incidence of diviance among females AND single family homes compared to nuclear.

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  33. Simple Simon May 22, 2017 at 11:17 AM #

    CORRECTION: Long past time to correct ourselves…if we are to have any hope of correcting our children.

    But it is so much easier to beat somebody, rather than to correct ourselves.

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  34. Hal Austin May 22, 2017 at 11:24 AM #

    David,
    70 per cent of children in Barbados are born out of wedlock. This is the key to the problem, having five children for five different men and from five different mothers. Where sis the church on this? Where is the law? We badly need public morality.

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  35. David May 22, 2017 at 11:30 AM #

    Public morality Hal? Are you serious?

    90% of Barbadians are blissfully UNAWARE that public morality is recognized in our laws.

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  36. Sunshine Sunny Shine May 22, 2017 at 11:33 AM #

    Here is a question for you all. And what time in Barbados history can we say that our citizens were a discipline lot? Please don’t tell me that you could leave your house open and know one would steal anything. Because I could easily say that there was nothing in those days to steal as the larder usually was empty. So anyone can answer that question.

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  37. angela Skeete May 22, 2017 at 12:48 PM #

    Well i do not know which part of barbados you come from but my memory takes me back to a more community oriented society where children show much respect for their elders and law and order.Yes they were afternoon school fights but parents and teachers and principals work together for resolution
    Now what we have is a breakdown in traditional family values played out in social media with no end in sight and teachers parent and children at each other throats without or having no formula for resolution
    So yes discipline was the order of the day in past years in barbados society not so long ago

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  38. Vincent Haynes May 22, 2017 at 1:09 PM #

    Sunshine Sunny Shine May 22, 2017 at 11:33 AM #

    The world continously goes through change and as the saying goes….too far east is west….we will always pull back when the society has had enough.

    The Regency period in the UK was known for its vulgarity,lewdness,licentiousness,hedonism,etc it was followed by the Victorian period of puritan behaviour,prim&proppernes,etc and today we are heading back to the Regency.

    I know a chap today on the front road of the west coast that does not shut his front door and I had a front door that never closed or windows that never shut for 30 odd years when I lived in rural Bim

    We must always remember that one shoe does not fit every one in a society.

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  39. David May 22, 2017 at 1:17 PM #

    @Vincent

    The big difference is the nuclear family and the evolution (to borrow Bernard’s posit) of the society to being more impersonal. When a small country loses its intimacy there goes the ‘neighborhood’!

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  40. Vincent Haynes May 22, 2017 at 1:41 PM #

    David

    I have always enjoyed Yeats’ word “Gyre” as the word to use as the best explanation for the many transitions that civilisations go through.

    We in Bim presently are going through such a transition period and some of us will be alive to see the new dynamics of a changed society built around the global village concept with the internet as the continous link.

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  41. millertheanunnaki May 22, 2017 at 2:15 PM #

    @ Hal Austin May 22, 2017 at 11:24 AM
    70 per cent of children in Barbados are born out of wedlock.

    You are statistically correct but sociologically you are climbing a rather ‘sticky’ pole of morality.

    We can also argue that in the not too far distant past all black children were “born out of wedlock” with high rates of incest in order to boost the population to produce plenty hands for the sugar plantations.

    We are sure you can remember when black children could have been easily mistaken for monkeys and be shot on sight whether innocently wandering in the cane fields or taking an ‘unintended’ serendipity trip through Belleville or through the apartheid districts of ole Christian Barbados.

    There were never any halcyon days for the vast majority of black people in the West.
    Blacks in Barbados and in the great ole US of A have never had it so good as they do today to break away from their enslavement.

    They might be free physically but still in chains psychologically.

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  42. Hal Austin May 22, 2017 at 2:33 PM #

    Jethro,

    I remember those days. Less than two decades ago a young man was shot in a plantation field because the owner ‘thought’ he was a monkey. But we must not allow that to give moral anchor to promiscuity.
    We must also look at abusive language, violence, corruption, fraud, abuse of office, drug and alcohol abuse.
    When we do this the school children will see what adult responsibility looks like.

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  43. Vincent Haynes May 22, 2017 at 4:28 PM #

    We must also look at abusive language, violence, corruption, fraud, abuse of office, drug and alcohol abuse.
    When we do this the school children will see what adult responsibility looks like.
    …………………………………………………………………………..

    At no time in our known history have we not had the above.

    All of the above created us and will continue to create the future generations…..simple facts of life,we humans are resourcefull creatures despite our ethnic origins or locall.

    Like

  44. angela Skeete May 22, 2017 at 7:43 PM #

    and then again most of the parents doing the complaining talking bout teacher this and teacher that never even go to a PTA meeting farther less even knows the child home teacher but always ready to bring controversy in the public domain when the child has to be discipline by the teacher
    My kids went to public school and my first and last advice to them was that the school is a place for learning never said it again never had no teacher call and complain and not one of my children came home with lyrics about teacher this or teacher that and you know why because i made it my duty to know all their teachers which for one kept my children mouths shut
    Maybe the parents does need a good cut a.ss along with the children

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  45. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 22, 2017 at 9:45 PM #

    What does wedlock have to do with anything, you findjuvenile many juvenike delinquents coming out of married homes as single parent homes….denigrating single parents with backwardness will not change that reality.

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  46. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger May 22, 2017 at 9:47 PM #

    ….you find just as many juvenile delinquents coming out of married homes as single parent homes…

    Like

  47. David May 23, 2017 at 3:01 AM #

    The school girl instigator is to appear in Court on Thursday. This should send a strong signal to those inclined to be unnecessarily violent.

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/97064/schoolgirl-charged

    What the BU house would like to see also is the charging of teachers for misdeeds as well AND for the AG to deliver on the amendment to the juvenile law he promised.

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  48. Hal Austin May 23, 2017 at 5:04 AM #

    David,

    We must be careful not to drift in to a moral panic and criminalise a generation of our young people. There must be boundaries to bad behaviour, but there must also be limits to punishment by the state.
    To effectively destroy a young person’s life chances at age of 14, when they have a further 70 years or so to live, and in any case would regret there behaviour within another four years is savage.
    I should know. England saved me and I went on to work in the British criminal justice system for a short time.
    The real crisis is one of parenting – modern versus traditional. I will give one brief example: as a young man if we passed an elder in the street and did not acknowledge them they would almost certainly complain to my mother and I would be forced to apologise or get a couple slaps.
    Modern parents now tell you they are their children’s best friends and that they believe their children unconditionally.
    The result of course is that children quite often, especially boys, get out of hand. The criminal law cannot impose tough restrictions on parental control, then the family courts impose new responsibilities. Something has got to give.
    Teachers are in loco parentis for over 30 hours a week, more than parents, do teachers ever accept blame for rowdy children? They do when the children turn out to be bright and productive.
    Plse do not bow to moral panics. Magistrates abusing their positions are just as villainous as teenage boys throwing stones and fighting.
    By the way, illegitimacy is a form of promiscuity and criminologically a higher proportion of children from single parent households get in to trouble with the law than those from married homes. Anyone who has studied or worked in the system knows that.

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  49. David May 23, 2017 at 5:36 AM #

    @Hal

    There is great merit to your concern. Unfortunately we are beginning to reap the many years of neglect of the society. Parental neglect is at an all-time high for reasons we have discussed. Just visit St.Lawrence Gap and other night spots in the late evening to observe juveniles ununaccompanied by adults/parents. If parents are failing it is the precursor of a crumbling society because a strong family unit is the bedrock.

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  50. angela Skeete May 23, 2017 at 5:39 AM #

    Physical abuse on a person /s is against the law and subject to punishment . If the parents does not guide and direct the child in a path that is productive to its well being then the law would have to step in on behalf of the victim and do the right thing
    It is about time it is also about time parents be charged for irresponsible actions on behalf of the child
    Enough is enough no more time for long exhaustive excuses

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  51. Hal Austin May 23, 2017 at 5:49 AM #

    David,
    You are absolutely right. I cannot see the future, but we have similar problems here in Britain. In the 1960s and early 70s, Caribbean parents were tough disciplinarians while the rest of the UK, enjoying the permissive 60s, thought we were a bit behind the times (echoes here of same-sex marriage etc|).
    So they used the law to clamp down on black parenting, often taking rebel children in to local authority care. As those young people came out of care at the age of 18 they were dumped by the local authorities and, sometimes, given accommodation.
    The result was a wave of illegitimate children without any proper parenting. To cut a long story short, then started the conflict with the police leading to the 1981 riots and the subsequent problems up to now, of gun and knife crime.
    But the society does not blame itself for creating a generation of amoral criminals, it blames black parents.
    @David, there is a price to pay and I am trying to do my bit to prevent Barbados going down this road, although I know the Bajan psychology is that we are different and we can tough it out.
    That is why the church, political parties, teachers’ unions et al must join the debate; not preaching down to young people, but listening to them.
    I will end on a light hearted matter: in the 1970s I was invited by the Greater London Council to speak at a conference on black youth and crime. During my speech, I said that young people should not listen to anyone over the age of 30 (shows you the impetuosity of youth).
    One of the delegates at the conference was the late Ashton Gibson, a Barbadian, who later returned to settle at home.
    After that every time we met, up until shortly before he died, he would ask: “Hal, how old are you now?”. He never allowed me to forget it.
    I stopped preaching since that speech.

    Like

  52. David May 23, 2017 at 6:38 AM #

    @Hal

    Again can’t fault your commentary. We can punish parents all we want but there is a fault line that has appeared that can only be repaired over time, to do so we must work together- civil society- to improve. As you know delinquent parenting will be with us as long as we live, some thing to do with the imperfections of man BUT we must try.

    Like

  53. William Skinner May 23, 2017 at 7:57 AM #

    @ Hal, David
    No policy will work unless we take a very
    serious examination and restructure
    our primary schools . What are we teaching
    our very young children about : their
    history, our national heroes, being
    their brothers/sisters keeper, how are
    government works, what does it really
    mean to be craftsmen of her fate, care if the
    environment. In short a new comprehensive
    civics curriculum.

    Like

  54. Vincent Haynes May 23, 2017 at 8:56 AM #

    As a secular nation we should be concentrating on Civics 101 and carving out our future based on the needs of the next generation as best as we can perceive it to be.

    The mythological Bible tales and concepts such as illegitimacy and heroes should long be discarded into the dustbins of the past.

    Like

  55. angela Skeete May 23, 2017 at 9:11 AM #

    Deliquent parents have always been within society.However their is an abnormality that attaches itself to a lack of good parenting in modern day society that must be eliminated by any means necessary.
    Enough is enough.

    Like

  56. Bernard Codrington. May 23, 2017 at 7:45 PM #

    Vincent at 8:56 AM

    Could you identify those dustbins into which you are tossing the mythological tales and concepts of heroes so that I may rescue them for my library? These myths and these tales of heroic persons inspire and formulate our ethical behaviours. They point us to what ordinary men and women can achieve.
    It is stretching the truth and my imagination as to how you can discern the needs of the next generation.

    Like

  57. Bush Tea May 23, 2017 at 9:47 PM #

    @ Bernard
    Ignore Vincent….

    He is an idiot of angelic vintage (like AC) …. continuously harping about things he does not understand.
    He ignores advice to keep his damn mouth shut when he has nothing to say ….and then insists on pontificating on epistemological issues that are WAY above his pay grade.

    You would think that someone so cock-sure about the uselessness of the bible would them-self have some area of success in their own life that empowers them to be so dogmatic….
    Steupssss…. a relic of our failed plantation system.

    A fool says in his heart that there is no God….

    A wise man can deduce from the everyday wonders around him, that a big, brilliant, boss Engineering mind HAD to have been behind such immaculate design and implementation that constitutes our Earth…….

    All others brass bowls either look, listen and learn, ….or at least keep their mouths shut, and do not make themselves into fools with shiite talk…

    Like

  58. Vincent Haynes May 24, 2017 at 12:26 PM #

    Bernard Codrington. May 23, 2017 at 7:45 PM #

    Sadly those dustbins do not exist as yet,once the world is filled with evangelists like you and your sidekick Bushie Mother Earth will continue to suffer at the hands of your followers believing in myths and heroes with feet of clay…..one lives in hope.

    Like

  59. Vincent Haynes May 24, 2017 at 12:30 PM #

    Bushie

    Chuckle……Skippah…….tell me what you measure success by?

    I have no wealth,so I should get an A+ for that alone,as you have pontificated on here that having wealth is not a measure of success.

    Like

  60. Gabriel May 24, 2017 at 12:58 PM #

    I subscribed to Readers Digest for many years.I liked its condensed pearls of wisdom.Many of its offerings stayed with me.One such was a meeting of some of the top scientists and other professionals in the USA.They found that ……”there was too much law and order in the universe for it to have occurred just by chance”.

    Like

  61. Vincent Haynes May 24, 2017 at 1:26 PM #

    NEVER FORGET: Religion, the church, Jesus, hell etc., were strategical man-made innovations, used as control tactics to keep you oppressed and away from the truth… knowing thyself.

    “The kingdom of heaven is within YOU; whomever shall know himself, shall find it”

    Like

  62. Bush Tea May 24, 2017 at 2:44 PM #

    Do you ever think for yourself Vincent…?
    Of COURSE religion is a business… and a tax-free one at that…..
    What the hell has THAT to do with the moot?

    As Gabriel noted, even (indeed, especially) brilliant scientists are moved to awe by the level of intricacies and interdependence in Nature….. Wuh even YOU must have been able to notice that Vincie…. 🙂

    If a fella looked you in the face and suggested that Hants’ BMW evolved over billions of years by random selection …would you not offer him a ride back to Black Rock?
    ….and our most impressive technologies pale into insignificance against the basic design of the eye …. the ear …. the brain … or even the basic life-sustaining water cycle…

    Brilliant design REQUIRES a brilliant designer…and..
    Super human implementation requires a super-human CREATOR …. a Big Boss Engineer.

    …and you need to think BEFORE engaging your ‘send’ button …and stop being a BB (the brassy variety NOT the Big Bossy one)….
    LOL
    ha ha ha

    Like

  63. vincent haynes May 24, 2017 at 3:10 PM #

    Bushie

    Chuckle…… Comprehension…… Let’s hope your buddy gets a better understanding of the human existence.

    Like

  64. Simple Simon May 24, 2017 at 3:34 PM #

    @Hal Austin May 23, 2017 at 5:04 AM “Modern parents now tell you they are their children’s best friends and that they believe their children unconditionally.”

    Mothers need to understand that they are not the Virgin Mary and that the father’s of their children are not God.

    We conceive human children…they are therefor imperfect, jut as we are.

    if as parents we understand that we did not give birth to Jesus Christ we are halfway there. Yes our beloved children we sometimes lie, steal, fight etc. our job to to help them to become better human beings, not to fool ourselves that we have given birth to God Incarnate.

    Like

  65. Simple Simon May 24, 2017 at 3:38 PM #

    @Hal Austin May 23, 2017 at 5:04 AM “By the way, illegitimacy is a form of promiscuity.”

    Can you explain how is it promiscuous if one man has one child with one woman and neither of parents has any other sexual partners?

    Like

  66. Simple Simon May 24, 2017 at 3:39 PM #

    And if the couple has 2 children together, or 12 or 22 how does that make them promiscuous?

    Like

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