Our society needs a national time-out

In a week in which several disturbing videos of alleged police brutality have been making the rounds on social media and when our politicians were trading insults over issues of homosexuality, an equally horrifying development has occurred at one of our secondary schools.

The videotaped incident, which took place within the precincts of the Lester Vaughan School, involved several students at the Government-run learning institution, who, for whatever reason, were driven to take out their anger on one teenaged girl.

In the video the student is seen being chased down by an angry mob – some of whom could be heard hurling loud expletives – before she fell to the ground and was repeatedly kicked in the head by some of her peers.

In a subsequent audio post, a woman who identified herself as the victim’s mother expressed her own horror and dismay over the incident, which allegedly started over an argument about a $15 bottle of hair spritz.

She also spoke about the state in which she found her daughter after the severe beating.

The mother, who was clearly angry, also said her daughter had previously complained that one of the students had thrown a rock at her earlier in the week, over which she had made an official complaint to the school’s authorities.

However, in view of the latest traumatic incident, which she said has left her daughter barely able to speak, the mother is now contemplating all manner of retaliatory action.

We hasten to say that we do not know all of the circumstances leading up to this most egregious incident. Indeed we may never find out.

However, one thing is certain – our society is in a serious struggle with itself over the issue of conflict resolution.

Time was when students would not be heard or seen speaking loudly in public, far less fighting openly with each other in the presence of adults, and worse yet, videotaping it.

Time was also when our police were treated like security Gods, to be accorded the highest level of respect if only for fear that to do otherwise could mean incarceration.

But alas, it is now commonplace for civilians to freely hurl insults and to openly challenge the authority of law enforcers.

In an era where the civilians have more high-level weaponry than the security forces, our police have been made to seem frail and ineffective, while our society hobbles from one terrible incident to the next.

This is not to say that our police officers are saints. Far from it!

Truth be told many have proven to be both corrupted and corruptible amid the rising drug crime and illegal drug warfare.

Which leads us to the question of who is really guarding our guards? And are our police really any better than the average criminal?

In recent months, we have certainly had more than enough cases of police officers before the court for one illegal action or the other.

In fact, who else could be at fault but some of our very own law enforcers when over $2 million in drug monies mysteriously disappears from a local police station without a trace and without any repercussion?

We are also still waiting to hear what happened to the official investigation into the pages that were mysteriously ripped out of a police station’s diary at the height of a very sensitive investigation.

In the meantime, our Government and a former police chief and some of our most senior police officers continue to fight it out in court, without either party seemingly willing to consider settlement while the entire society looks on in amazement, including our children – many of whom are already operating without any semblance of parenting.

The strong message being sent is that no longer is anyone prepared to be seen as the passive victim. Which may be good in terms of our defence of our civil rights and liberties, but our new-found determination not to walk away and to fight it out to bitter and sometimes nasty end comes at a very high societal price.

All may seriously want to consider taking a step or two back before it is too late. A national time-out may well be in order.

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