Ministries to meet on youth violence
Several ministries are expected to meet next week to discuss the reasons behind the apparent escalation of violence among young people.
The word came from Minister of Youth Adrian Forde as he expressed concern over this week’s stabbing of a schoolboy and the charging of five minors with several criminal offences.
The minors – two aged 14 and the others aged 12, 13, 15 – and all from Brittons Hill, St Michael, appeared in the juvenile court at Cane Garden, St Thomas, yesterday to face charges of robbery, burglary, theft and criminal damage. This was the second charge for the 12-yearold, who was also charged with burglary last month.
“It is a concern for any Government of the day. We have to go back to mentorship programmes, whether it is mentorship in communities, at school, social workers, youth commissioners. We have to get every single person involved in young people’s lives directing them the right way,” Forde said.
“And what we have to provide, not only as a Government, but as a country, are alternatives, because we have to be mindful that a mind stretched with new experiences and good experiences never goes back to its old dimension. We have to get young people engaged in meaningful, wholesome activities and that is where the problem is.”
One of the topics up for debate when Forde and officials from the Ministries of Education and Home Affairs meet will be the devastating impact that social media was having on young lives. Forde was adamant this platform was at the root of most of the issues that are affecting the youth.
He said: “It is like part of a Hollywood Barbados they are developing on social media. Everything now is put on social media because it is a way of satisfying young people’s egos. You put up something like you’re fighting your friends, everything that is bad. You inflate social media to drive hits, likes and egos. That is something we have to be concerned of in Barbados.”
St Leonard’s Boys’ School teacher Gloria Idalia Burke after she appeared in court.