|Where are the parents? – Apr 6|
Regenerating the Moral and Spiritual Values of our Society
By Vernon Khelawan
Like a plague, the violence in our schools is spreading. From north to south, east to west, the reports come in daily. It is happening in the primary schools and the secondary institutions, private, denominational and government schools; none seems to be able to escape the scourge of violence.
It used to be that ‘boys will be boys’ and it was not uncommon for the occasional “heaves” with a rapid exchange of fisticuffs in the boys’ schools. It was par for the course. Today, however, the appeal of violence has attracted the fairer sex, as has been seen recently in several free-for-all episodes.
Then there is the teacher slapping, the stealing, the availability of porn and, worst of all, sex in the classroom. There is far too much silence amid all this chaos.
What seems to have gone wrong? Are there any solutions? Oh, some in leadership positions have come up with some “doozies”. Lock them up, send them to special institutions, expel them, bring back corporal punishment, and greater security at the school gates are some of the solutions proffered.
But nobody is asking the real question. Where are the parents? All the children involved in these fracas have parents, or at least guardians, but where are they? Will the real leaders stand up and face the facts! Family life is in shambles in Trinidad and Tobago and that’s where any attempt to rectify this situation has to start.
The highly touted Children’s Authority or the teachers or the PTAs or even the police will not cut it. Yes, they all have a role to play, but the real start must be made in the home. The Third Pastoral Priority calls for Regenerating the Moral and Spiritual Values of our Society. This, too, must begin in the home.
Society, according to Webster, is “the social order or community life considered as a system within which the individual lives”, and it is defined by the kind of homes which prevail and the mores of the individuals who live in those homes – parents and children. But if there are absent parents, sooner or later there will be ‘absent’ children and subsequently an ‘absent’ society.