Charge them!

Ex teacher wants adults punished for engaging minors in lewd acts

A retired educator believes adults who encourage the nation’s youth to engage in unsavoury behaviour must be held more accountable.

Jennifer Sealy took that position during a panel discussion entitled Yuh Evuh Too Young Fuh A Juk Down?, hosted by the Barbados Government Information Service’s HIV Education Committee.

“You need to be made accountable; charged if necessary,” stressed Sealy, who is also the founder of popular cultural dance group Dancin’ Africa.

Her call was supported by fellow panellist, cultural practitioner Stephanie Chase, who said a large degree of responsibility must fall on the shoulders of parents and guardians.

“The same way if a child breaks someone’s headlights and the parent has to pay to replace that headlight, when you place your child in danger, you should be held accountable. At the end of the day, if something happens to that child . . . it falls on the State. All of us will feel the ripple effects if all our children start going down the wrong path,” Chase said.

“We need to take responsibility. We need to offer positive morals and values . . . .They need to have positive role models, and role models start with the parenting, because a child’s role model should be the parent.”

From left, panellists Mosiah Daniel, Keriann Hurley, Stephanie Chase and Jennifer Sealy.

The panel also included Keriann Hurley, a social worker, and Mosiah Daniel, a teacher, social worker and Youth, Advocacy and Outreach Manager of the Barbados Family Planning Association.

The discussion revolved around a video which went viral on social media during the Crop Over season.

It was shot at one of the season’s events, Water Xplosion – Party in the Tropics, and featured a young boy lewdly engaging a dancer on stage as Lady Essence performed her 2017 Crop Over release, Fluffy Girl Anthem.

Hurley said that in such cases, a child’s involvement was not only the parents’ responsibility, but that of all stakeholders.

“Within the scope of the conversation, we’re talking about an underage person jumping in Kadooment. I feel like if a policy is put in place by, say, the [National Cultural Foundation] or whoever, that this is not allowed, then even the promoters need to be held accountable,” she said.

“We have to get to that level where we are very serious and we say we are not going to just talk it, but actually put things in place to uphold accountability. The reality is that there are going to be some parents that just don’t care [and] if the parents don’t care, somebody has to.”

Meantime, Daniel, the only male on the panel, said while he agreed entirely that parents must take responsibility, he strongly believed they should not be the only ones held accountable.

“I know if it goes to court and parents need to be charged, I agree. [But] I think moving around in society . . . if I see something happening that I don’t appreciate or I don’t think a child should be doing, I am going to take a stand and say something about it,” he argued.

“You could cuss me. I done say it. It . . . [doesn’t] matter. I am going to stand and say, ‘this is not appropriate for your child. What will you do when ‘X’ happens?’ We need to take responsibility and say, ‘I will not allow this to happen in my space. . . . It cannot happen in my space’ . . . . Years down the road then we wailing, we crying ‘wha happen to my Barbados?’  [But] you didn’t take the opportunity to make your stamp when you could have,” the impassioned teacher stated.

One Response to Charge them!

  1. Richard Johnston August 18, 2017 at 4:47 am

    Platitudes. Other than breaking a headlight, what the heck is “unsavoury behavior?”


Leave a Reply

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