Say no to sex, pastor tells young school leavers
AMID REPORTS of several incidents of sexual abuse against children across Jamaica in recent times, a St James-based pastor of the Jamaica Baptist Union is urging children and young people to say no to all sexual suggestions, especially from older men.
"Especially when the young girls experience certain changes in their bodies, some men are looking from a distance and saying, 'This one ready to pick,' but learn to say no to them," Pastor Lloyd Richards of the Roehampton Circuit of Baptist Churches charged during his keynote address at the Supreme Preparatory and Kindergarten School's annual school-leaving ceremony held at the Water Lane New Testament Church of God in Montego Bay on Thursday.
"Sex is one of the things that can mess up your education. The consequences are grave ... . If you have started, it is time now to stop and say no," Richards continued. "Learn to say no to daddy, learn to say no to uncle, and even if it is a pastor, once your rights are being violated, learn to say no. Avoid pornographic material. Say no to sitting in boys' laps, and say no to the drivers and conductors because your futures depend on it."
The pastor also urged the young school leavers to avoid using narcotics, including marijuana, which, according to recent reports, saw an increase in usage by students following amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, which decriminalised small quantities of the weed.
"Learn to say no to drugs. Drugs are not a good thing," said Richards. "Drugs can easily get into our schools, but whoever it is coming from, say no. Marijuana is not for everybody, and one thing I am sure about, it is not for children."
Thirty-three students from Supreme Preparatory School, who had passed the Grade Six Achievement Test, took part in Thursday's school-leaving ceremony.
Ron McKay, owner of the ADS Global Jamaica call centre and long-time supporter of Supreme Preparatory, made two monetary awards of US$250 (J$29,190) each to André Brevett and Santriena Gordon, two of the graduating students, and a third award of US$500 (J$58,380) to the school.