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Bullying ‘not new’

The island’s school system cannot be expected to resolve all the

problems that exist in society.

That was the assertion of MP for St James South Donville Inniss

as he addressed Parliament today on a supplementary for education.

“We cannot rely on our school system to solve all of the

problems that exist out there in the wider society, and I think

that is a fact we have to face. The school is really a microcosm

of what is happening in the wider society and therefore it is a bit

unfortunate if we focus so exclusively on the school system and not

on what is happening in wider society.

“So a bad behaved boy doesn’t become a bad behaved boy

because of the school he is at and the teacher he has. It is because

of the school environment that he is functioning in; how he is being

socialised out there in the wider community and when sometimes

we as adults do not set good examples for de young people, how

dare we come in here and blame them like that,” he stressed.

He said he also believed that young people today were no worse

than those of yesteryear at their age and added it was unfortunate

that today’s youth bore the brunt of criticisms for society’s rearing.

“It reflects badly on us as adults and as parents in the

wider society.”

Addressing the issue of bullying, the MP and father

of two said he did not know that it was any more

prevalent now in the schools than 40 years ago. He

posited that the improvements in technology now

made it easier to have cell phones and other devices

to record the happenings that would not have been

available years ago.

“I don’t think we should behave in two ways: 1)

as though bullying does not exist. It does exist in our

school system and society on a whole and not just

the school system, it exists in our work place, in our

communities at large. I don’t know that there is any

emperical evidence that it is any worse now than it was

ten, 15. 30 years ago.

“The other point that must be addressed as it

pertains to gender issues and our young people . .

. because while bullying is not reserved for boys, it

predominantly exists among them and we have to ask

ourselves what sort of boy children are we seeking to

raise in contemporary Barbados.

“I think our boys sometimes are being a bit too soft,

but the truth of the matter is that we need to let boys

be boys . . . ,” said Inniss, adding that he was concerned

that boys were not allowed to be boys in society.

“I think we are sometimes blowing matters way out of

proportion,” he added. (LB)

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