End ‘informa fi dead’ culture
A COALITION of parent-teacher associations and other groups pushing for an end to violence against children is pleading for an end to the ‘informa fi dead’ culture – a practice believed to have played a role in the death of 14-year-old Jamaica College (JC) student Nicholas Francis.
Errol Holmes, president of the JC Parent-Teacher Association, said the ‘informa fi dead’ culture has stifled the development of the country, as it leaves persons afraid to report crimes. He also said law-abiding citizens cannot allow the bad in society to outweigh the good.
Holmes was addressing a press conference held yesterday at the Ministry of Education, Heroes Circle, held to outline recommendations to protect the nation’s children going forward.
Francis was killed by a man attempting to rob him while they were aboard a green Toyota Coaster bus in the vicinity of Blue Castle Drive on Old Hope Road in St Andrew.
The suspect in Francis’ murder, Quacie Hart, has been charged and is set to appear in court on Friday.
Holmes made a passionate plea for citizens to take back the country in order to create a conducive environment for young people.
“We are making a strident call to civil society to resist this philosophy called
Coalition against attacks on children outlines recommendations to end violence
‘informa fi dead’. When good people don’t speak because of the fear of bad people, bad people rule. Two per cent (of people) are bad and 98 per cent are good, but when the 98 per cent are frozen into inactivity and fear, the two per cent lead,” he said.
‘IT CANNOT CONTINUE’
“My son turned 16 yesterday (Monday) and I hugged him and prayed for him this morning (Tuesday), but Xavier Francis (Nicholas’ father) doesn’t have his son. Nicholas was on a bus filled with adults and students and they allowed him to be dragged from the back, abused in the middle, stabbed on the step, thrown from the bus with a broken hand and did nothing,” he said.
He added: “It cannot continue, and I think a lot of that is because people feel if they talk they are going to end up the same way (dead). We must take back our country and, in addition to taking back our country, there is something called citizen’s arrest, we must exercise that.”
Said Holmes: “One man can’t kill 20 people unless he’s Samson (in the Bible).”
He also argued that he believed that all schools should implement a spiritual committee in their institutions.
“There’s a model at the St Andrew High School (for Girls). They have a spiritual committee which meets on a regular basis to pray over the children at the school and to ask God for guidance. It has been my belief that it is God who has been leading this nation and it is our God who will help us, and I think it is a good thing for us to call on the name of God,” he said.
“I think that is something that I’m going to recommend at our next PTA meeting, that we, with immediate effect, consider very strongly to put in place a spiritual committee and look at how God will use us,” he declared.
Minister of Education Ruel Reid, in his response, noted that he was in agreement with the recommendations and indicated that he would be working to ensure that everything was done to protect the nation’s children.
Reid also said he was in discussion with Minister of Transport Mike Henry about establishing a sustainable bus system for students.
See full list of recommendations online