Acting commission urges Jamaicans to care for children
Acting Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant is convinced that Jamaica's children are lacking proper care from both their parents and society in general, and is demanding that whether the connection to a child is biological or otherwise, they be nurtured and cared for.
She was speaking last week at the mass launch of the Police Youth Clubs in Schools initiative, organised by the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
The initiative is geared towards actively involving students at the primary and high school levels in social activities and programmes that promote personal and professional development and create safer school environments. Thirty-three schools have already subscribed to the programme.
"Critical to us becoming a nation that prospers under God is for each and every one of us to care for our children. It is not enough to recognise that the children are the future. It is more important to do something to ensure their care and their nurture. You don't have to be a biological parent to care for the children. They belong to us!" she stressed.
"We are ignoring our greatest treasure by not sharing of our time, of our talents with our children, no matter who their parents are."
14-year-old held with gun
Making reference to a 14-year-old boy being held with a 9mm pistol and several rounds of ammunition on Saturday in Kingston, she highlighted him as a great example of what can happen to our children if they are neglected.
He is from Clarendon, his father is deceased, and his mother is hearing impaired and unable to speak.
"Can you imagine the challenge she has in communicating with that boy and can you imagine the influences around him? He had no guidance. What about the adults who were in his life? What did they do for him? The starting point is how you treat the children around you. Too many of them are exposed to neglect and abuse - verbal, physical, emotional and psychological. Too many adults are putting children down and making them feel as if they don't matter," said Grant.
She encouraged all citizens to treat each child as a potential star, and not to wait until they excel on the national or international stage before showing full support.