13 plus

Ex-magistrate wants age limit for Facebook

A senior High Court official is suggesting that children should not be allowed to have a Facebook page before age 13.

This advice to parents from Registrar of the Supreme Court Barbara Cooke-Alleyne as she delivered remarks at the graduation ceremony for students of the Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary School who participated in the D.A.R.E programme.

Sergeant Roland Cobbler, who is in charge of the DARE programme in Barbados (standing behind the students), with participants of Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary School.
Sergeant Roland Cobbler, who is in charge of the DARE programme in Barbados (standing behind the students), with participants of Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary School.

Cooke-Alleyne, a former juvenile court magistrate, not only told parents about the age when their children should join the popular social media site; she also urged them to then monitor the online activities of their charges.

Cooke-Alleyne explained that this monitoring was a part of keeping the doors of communication open with children through maintaining sound relationships and staying up to date with whom their friends were.

Registrar of the Supreme Court Barbara Cooke-Alleyne
Registrar of the Supreme Court Barbara Cooke-Alleyne

“Make sure you are one of their friends on Facebook and check to see what they are doing and who they are talking to,” the court official suggested.

For a period of 10 weeks, the Wilkie Cumberbatch students were provided with the necessary knowledge and skills to help them to make safe and responsible choices in relation to the use of drugs, alcohol and other societal issues.

According to Cooke-Alleyne, many juveniles who come before the court have taken drugs. She said they may not be at Court for a drug charge but their use of marijuana, the most prevalent illegal drug, may have contributed to their delinquency.

“Children, I DARE you to always say ‘no’ to drugs, I DARE you to choose good friends. I DARE you to succeed in your goals. I DARE you to be the best you can be,” she said.

Sergeant Roland Cobbler of the Royal Barbados Police Force, who is in charge of the programme, indicated that in the course of his daily duties he encountered a number of young people who openly admitted to drug use.

He regards this as a worrisome trend since the increasing prevalence of drug use and its associated anti-social behaviours, have the potential to threaten the stability of our society.

“In this era where some of our young people are being easily influenced by the drug culture, it is important that our children are educated about the dangers of drugs. You, the parent, must understand that you have a supportive role to play in this process. It is important that you set good examples and reinforce the importance of positive values,” Sergeant Cobbler said.

To the graduands, Sergeant Cobbler stressed that he had seen many successes of the DARE programme. He urged them to see themselves as ambassadors of the programme and to use their newly acquired knowledge and skills to educate others.

5 Responses to 13 plus

  1. Patrick Blackman June 6, 2015 at 4:19 am

    I understand what your intentions are and as noble as they may be, you cannot legislate parenting. As a judicial officer (very respected one at that) you should not be expressing personal opinions. I know some people would say you have the right to have one but as a public figure your opinion reflects on your office and therefore you should keep them to yourself.

    You cannot tell parents how to raise their kids, if the parents actions are within the law. If you instill proper values in your kids from an early age then the digital world would never be an issue.

  2. Joseph Harding June 6, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I am positive that when signing up for a Facebook account, one of the criteria are that you are 13 years or older.

  3. Tony Waterman June 6, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    @Patrick Blackman!!! I will NOT try to say it any better than you did, except to say, that in Barbados, persons in these Positions say and do things that daily cost people dearly that are in in similar position overseas.

    OFFICIALLY !!! To be eligible to sign up for Facebook, you must be at least 13 years old.she should have researched that before speaking out.

    They are ways under facebook privacy to keep your children safe.
    If your child uses Facebook,
    (1) login to their account and on the upper right corner click Account > Privacy Settings
    (2) On the main Privacy Settings page, in the Connecting on Facebook section, click View Settings.
    (3) On the main Privacy Settings page, in the Sharing on Facebook section, you should select Friends Only to apply it to all the settings. Next, click the Customize settings button. Then on the bottom of the Things I share section, click Edit privacy settings for existing photo albums and videos, and you should make each Friends Only.
    (4) If you have anyone that you don’t want contacting your child or seeing any of your child’s profile or activity, you can block them in addition to removing them as a Friend. In the Block Lists section on the bottom of the main Privacy Settings page, click Edit your lists.
    The well intentioned Registrar of the Supreme Court Barbara Cooke-Alleyne, should have done this research before speaking out on a subject that she obvioiulsy does not know a lot about.
    but this is B’dos for yuh.

  4. Maxine Hutchinson June 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Mr Blackman,

    Based on you comments would you be subtly suggesting that the Child Care Board has become obsolete in its present operations?

  5. Patrick Blackman June 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    No… irrelevant.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *