Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Gleaner Crime Forum | Unruly teens - Indiscipline in schools fuelling crime says Westmoreland educator

Published:Friday | January 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Barbara Dandy, dean of discipline at the Godfrey Stewart High School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.


The high level of indiscipline being exhibited in schools by students is very indicative of what to expect when they leave and head out into society, believes Barbara Dandy, dean of discipline at the Godfrey Stewart High School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.

With 148 persons murdered in Westmoreland in 2017 and 11 killed in the parish so far this year, Dandy noted that some of the present violence producers in society might have passed through the education system without being properly socialised.

Addressing a Gleaner Crime Forum hosted at the Sean Lavery Centre in Savanna-la-Mar yesterday, Dandy was adamant that the education system should not be totally blamed for those youngsters that are considered "lost", insisting that their families must be held equally responsible.

With police statistics showing that youngsters between the ages of 15 and 24 years were involved in serious crimes in the parish, Dandy shared that in most cases, those youth were school drop-outs.

"It is a fact that some of these teenagers that we interface with as educators, we have lost them, and they are out in the society causing the mayhem, but I can also say that not many of those that have completed their education have been in the statistics," she said.




She pointed out that there were programmes being instituted throughout the education system to assist both students and parents, but there was a reluctance on both their parts to participate.

"The home must take responsibility. One of the greatest challenges that we have as teachers is the parents," Dandy said, pointing out that many persons have become parents in their teenage years. She expressed the view that those young parents need to improve their value systems.

With some of the young parents needing guidance themselves, according to the dean of discipline, when asked to attend the school to sort out problems involving their children, when they do come, they are always in attack mode.

"The simple rules and regulations that they (the children) are not adhering to, later on when they go out, it is the same way that they are going to break the laws of the land," she emphasised.

As an example, she spoke of the Students' Week exercise that the Godfrey Stewart High School held for its 10th- and 11th-grade students at the start of this term. She said that even though the event was aimed at benefitting the students, only a handful attended, and she believed that parents were very instrumental in the turnout.

Dandy was resolute that serious intervention was needed to address parenting in the parish.