All to blame

No simple remedy for crime, say educators

Two leading educators have joined the growing debate over rising crime, giving limited support to Member of Parliament for St Michael West Central James Paul who this week criticized teachers for displaying “a lesser commitment” to the service and allowing some students to “drop through the cracks”, resulting in social problems.

Paul told reporters on Tuesday that the education system must bear some of the responsibility for the upsurge in crime and suggested that some did not do enough to mould the personalities of their students.

Today, retired principal Matthew Farley warned there were no “quick fixes” and said the causes of crime were never simple to identify.

However, he agreed that the education system had to accept some responsibility.

“I don’t think there is any one problem that can be considered as being responsible for the situation with crime, gunplay and the spike in violence in the society. I don’t know whether there is any empirical evidence to confirm what Mr Paul has said, but clearly from my experience as an educator, the education system, to the extent that it is part of how we socialize our children, will have to accept some responsibility. [However] I don’t think everything should be laid at the feet of the school,” Farley told Barbados TODAY.

The former Graydon Sealy Secondary School principal said some schools had become innovative and found creative programmes for pupils, but in some cases it was not enough because “the students themselves are not well adjusted.”

“There are situations where children have been given opportunities that if they take hold of they need not go down a life of crime,” the explained.

He pointed out that no one group should be fingered to shoulder the blame for deviant behaviour, but the primary responsibility for children’s upbringing lay with the parents.

“Yes the school will have to take some responsibility but . . . parents I believe  – and I am not going to lay all the blame on the parents –  but I think that too many parents are shifting the responsibility for rearing their children on the schools, on the church, on everybody else, and when the children get into trouble then they look to blame other agencies.

“It takes an entire village to raise a child and if a child becomes deviant, if a child is wayward, I think there has to be a collective culpability if you want for explanations for this situation,” he added.

Farley’s position was shared by the principal of the Parkinson Memorial School Jeff Broomes, who lamented “ an unacceptably high level of deviance among young people” listing drug use and the influx of weapons as examples.

While stressing that there was “no one answer obviously”, the outspoken principal insisted the foundation began at home.

“The home has a role to play in it because I think in many cases there is a lot of absentee parents. The school has a role to play in it because we in schools tend to write off students too early. Our society and our leaders have a role to play in it because we have to insist on certain standards, on certain behaviours and expectations that we are not insisting on. People have to be told that societal rights are more important than individual rights,” Broome added.

Meantime, Farley blamed the society for allowing “our traditional values to go through the eddoes so to speak,” by holding on to north American standards and “this is [what] we are reaping now.”

“ I don’t think that there is only one solution from any one agency. I think we have to sit down and put our heads together and see how collectively we can find those strategies. It is not a quick fix situation that you can put your hands in a black box and pull out a trick and say this would solve the problem,” he said.

9 Responses to All to blame

  1. Dianne Barker
    Dianne Barker August 28, 2015 at 2:02 am

    You are absolutely correct. To put the onus squarely on the teachers is ludicrous. It starts from the home.

  2. jrsmith August 28, 2015 at 5:28 am

    People, people , stop this stupidness, talking rubbish , pointing fingers making excuses ,to hell with crime in other parts of the world , all of us as bajans must pull our fingers out unite and solve our problem. solving our problem , means we would be prepared to handle crime from anywhere.

    Why no one is calling on government ,what the hell is our priminister doing. could some one remind him what he is suppose to do.

    One of the excuses , drugs ,but yet still lots of people want to legalize the same. We are not behaving as responsible people, think of what it use to be like 50 years ago, the behaviour then of our people, parents today knowing of what they kids are up to should hand the matter over to the police.

    But my take , certain people the higher criminals are been protected on this here Barbados. bearing in mind what’s at stake , the avoidance of taxes. And who is close to whom.
    mark my word, the upper criminal element ,should ponder they fate, Interpol is coming, certain European governments, are going to weed them out.

  3. seagul August 28, 2015 at 8:01 am

    The standard theoretical law‐and‐economics account of criminal behavior begins from the observation that criminals are rational decision makers. Similarly, the standard law‐and‐economics account of other participants in the criminal justice system— judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, juries, and
    legislators—also presumes rational decision making. Not only has this account received theoretical elaboration, it has
    also been tested.

  4. allison archer August 28, 2015 at 11:25 am

    the simple answer is the people have turned their backs on God and refuse to repent.
    without God mankind will continue to degenerate leading to total chaos in every area of life, we are just going around in circles placing the blame on politicians, teachers, parents, role models, who or whatsoever, those are all secondary issues.
    when will we learn?

    • Olutoye Walrond August 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      I don’t think God forces his will on people. We are permitted to choose whether we will serve Him or not. It is therefore wrong to believe social ills are the result of some punishment from God or the result of a Godless life.

      There are countries with very low rates of crime and social problems (Switzerland, Cuba, Singapore, Japan, Iceland among them) that don’t necessarily have any greater commitment to God than we do.

      It’s a sociological matter.

      • allison archer August 28, 2015 at 3:23 pm

        The Living God is not a dictator, one’s life have to be willingly offered through an act of repentance
        Mankind came from God, “Let us make man in our image” our forefathers disobeyed and we all inherited Adam’s sinful nature therefore we are prone to fight and hate God our Creator and be rebellious in every way.

        the situation as it is in the world is an outcome of sin
        that is why God had to die for us in taking every disobedience to the cross that man will not be annihilated for we are His most treasured possession.

        look to the relationship with His chosen people the Israelites, when He was in their midst all was healthy but when they rejected Him God delivered them into the hands of their oppressors.
        Man implemented and educate his children in his own way outside the principles of God and this is the result, every nuance of life is in total chaos
        the world is an evil and perverse place, nothing here God wants but for His children to come home, come out of the world for all will be destroyed with fervent heat.

        until we acknowledge that we are sinners and accept His Son we will continue in this circling in this parched place.
        I hope you can hear me.

  5. seagul August 28, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Wholeheartedly the world of sociology represents the spirit in which people can develop confidence, self-respect, courage, determination, perseverance, and character.Value consciousness not just for its own sake, but as a powerful tool for social, recreational and physical well-being.—— There is a growing recognition that respect can play the part in addressing wider social problems. It presents an opportunity to engage another generation of people in a positive alternative—not just in terms of participation in activities, but across a range of issues including righteousness, solidarity, acceptance in value and essential worth.
    Deeper Soul….

  6. cecil P August 29, 2015 at 12:24 am

    oh my goodness it’s amazing how many different things I’m hearing that’s causing these young people to run around BIM with guns in hand robbing and shooting like they don’t care about humanity.u know what sometimes I think these damn criminals is running the country and not the prime minister with all of these problems in BIM. he’s nowhere to be heard or seen on these matters we’re having in the country its about time he come up to plate and come out from where he’s hiding the country want to hear from him like to day


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