Check yourselves

Sgt. Jemmott explaining the role of parents in some of their children’s problems.

Parents need to check themselves and their households and how they are socialising their children that could be leading them to become bullies.

Two police officers gave this warning last night as they addressed past students and parents at a panel discussion on bullying at the Garrison Secondary School.

Sargeant Hallam Jemmott, a member of the panel, said because a lot of children were being left to their own devices, “to be children”, the resulting impact was that some were becoming bullies while others were being bullied.

“If we are going to look at it seriously; if we are going to stop it, then we have to look at how we socialise our children. How we have been socialised ourselves. Most of us as parents say I want to deal with it myself, that is why most bullies are not known and why nothing is done about it, because if everybody wants to deal with it… nothing can be done with the bully,” said Jemmott.

When asked, some of the bullies have indicated they do it for fun or to show how tough they are, which he called “flimsy excuses”.

“Yes it is very bleak because a lot of our bullies have a lot issues that they are dealing with… but the children are saying they are not seeing anything wrong with bullying. So it takes us as adults to start dealing with this. It has to be a collaborative effort between parents, school, community and law,” he noted.

Head of Police Community Relations Department Station Sargeant Stephen Griffith also told the gathering that the problem was that too many children were left on “autopilot” and discipline was missing from the homes.

The Crime Prevention Officer challenged that half of the challenges children were experiencing began in the home and could be solved there.

“If we start bringing children into this world for love, then we will start managing our homes and then you wouldn’t have problems with anyone’s child who is bullying yours because that would not exist.”

There was discipline in households before that was missing today, he argued, with parents now openly engaging in acts in front of children that were once left behind closed doors.

“You then wonder why it all drifts into the schools… because children live what they learn. So if best practices exist in the home, then we solve 90 per cent of all the challenges that educators face and this is one of the main features and this is why everyone is ending up in the hands of police.”

Most of the arrests for serious crimes in recent times, Griffith said, were of youths between the ages of 15 and 19, which meant that there was something happening in the homes to cause them to fall into the criminal justice system.

“It all begins at home. Children did not ask to be here so how come when they come they have to go through all these challenges, simply because we fail to manage our home. We have failed to accept the responsibility that when we bring children into the world it is a 25 year job,” he stated. (LB)

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