Min­istries to meet on youth vi­o­lence

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - News -

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.”

(Pic­ture by Reco Moore.)

St Leonard’s Boys’ School teacher Glo­ria Idalia Burke after she ap­peared in court.

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