Let’s say no to sex at school!

We do not mean to bash unduly a fellow media house, but we could not help but be flummoxed by the strange insistence on the publishing of two minors copulating in the classroom, as the newspaper put it, of a rural school.

More perplexing was the writer’s luridly erotic and sordid details of the escapade of the children in question – even if you were minded to be merciful with the photographic publication of the sexual act on the grounds of hasty and erroneous split-decision making in circumstances of no recall.

It was alarmingly bad enough that the cheering peers of the classroom sex duo would have been seemingly emboldened to post this inexcusable act on Facebook; horrifyingly worse for a responsible and “caring” newspaper to further distribute what is no more or less plain pornography. We make no claim to be the paragon of all that is pure and holy; only to be a trustworthy and accountable confederate in this honourable profession of journalism, encouraging other participants to hold high the principles to which we are committed.

Regrettably, because of the misreckoning on the other side, we all in the journalistic fraternity stand to have our reputations suffer an unforgettable tarnishing quite undeservingly. We will not escape the indictment of gutter journalism for the sake of sales.

The other downside of this outré episode is that the police have involved themselves. Police public relations officer Inspector David Welch has indicated that the posting of the classroom sex video on Facebook in the first place is unlawful – it is the publication of child pornography, as the participants are minors. And, the Royal Barbados Police Force will be investigating these unsavoury circumstances.

By extrapolation, the publishing of a frame of the said pornographic video by the Saturday Sun, after 40 years of caring and much better judgement, will attract the police’s attention too. The police may have to take into consideration, though, that the video posting, most likely by the peers of the classroom sex duo, will almost certainly have been done without malice, but through burnished exuberance and the practice of laughing at oneself, which is so prevalent among younger teens.

We seek not to make excuses for this misconduct; only to point out that whatever punishment may be meted out to the teen offenders, appropriate counselling will be mandatory.

In an ultra-liberal society that Barbados would now become, we have citizens already questioning the authorities’ prohibition of the public viewing and publishing of pornography and making a case against what they term an unjustified violation of basic and personal freedoms. And the promotional lax and easy access to North American pornography on the Internet does everything to empower these sex liberalists and undermine what they see as the coercive powers of the state.

It begs the question: what practical authority do the police and other agents
have in enforcing good and decent public conduct among consenting individuals, and limiting or eradicating the publishing or consumption of pornography?

Back at the rural school scene, the unfortunate lass may have memories of adventurous ecstasy, but they will not be without the recollection of a publicized obscenity of such sexual explicitness – which for time yet will be degrading of her and a blot on her social standing.

And now that the sex craze in school is back on the front burner, we might endeavour to set aside all the gobbledygook and opaque ramblings of school principals and the other powers that be, and deal with this matter at the heart. The truth is undeniably out – most graphically. The more sensitive of us do not savour the stylings of last Saturday Sun’s erotic report, but we are not all unmindful that often out of bad comes some good.

At the risk of trampling on the rights of the pornography-minded, our powers that be – led by the executive arm of Government, the Attorney General, the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Ministry of Education, our school principals, honourable teachers, responsible parents, and parent-teacher associations – must save our children from those of us without probity and from them themselves.

It has not gone unknown that in some cases teachers themselves have been less than scrupulous in their interactions with their charges, giving rise to bad examples set, and having as the upshot on occasion a sweeping of the settled dust under the carpet, or a sanitizing of the dastardly dirty deed. It does neither our country nor our children any good pretending that these base things do not happen at school – and we need not publish explicit classroom erotica to make the point.

Remedy and resolution will call for dedication, enduring attention, patience and persistence to pull our offspring out of this morass we love to imagine we do not see. Clearly, we know what the problems and challenges are. We propound on the answers when our young people come under the negative lights. We must cut out all the trumpery and take action, if we will guide our seed appropriately.

Inasmuch as we have had quite successfully our children saying no to drugs,
we might well have them saying no to sex in the classroom – and forego exposure
on the other side!

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