Cheating dads spreading seed far and wide
THE EDITOR, Sir:
For decades, every Sep-
tember registration, Jamaican children have been meeting brothers and sisters at their new schools and colleges. For some gregarious students, it's no big deal, and they will shake hands and hug the new-found sibling, but some children find it difficult to accept the discovery of a lying, cheating father.
It is a commonplace subject and needs to be addressed by education stakeholders and not be left solely to the hard-working guidance counsellors who face this issue year after year. I have seen the shock and disappointment on the face of a student when she finds out that that boy sitting over there who looks just like her is, indeed, her brother.
Some years ago, I welcomed 40 seventh-graders, called their names and invited them to stand and introduce themselves. Two of them turned out to be the daughters of a very prominent citizen. For good administration, the more aggressive one was moved to another class. Those two girls left after seven years and they never spoke to each other.
Just last year, my neighbour's daughter found twin sisters, her age, who attend the high school that is across the street from her school. One girl who takes the bus told my neighbour's daughter about these girls, who looked just like her. She walked to the bus stop after school, introduced herself and found they had the same birth month and the same father. Even now that family is warring.
My own nephew in Hanover sat in the same class with his discovered-at-school brother. He and his mother never accepted him.
I know of two sets of children at university who, when they met their same-age brothers and sisters, decided to say nothing to their comfortably married mothers.
One student at a teachers' college met her sister on campus with same surname and first name, Paula, after the lover. Her sister, her senior, helped her financially, through college but was never warm to her. And so the stories go on and on.
Since it is a way of life for many Jamaican men to have children outside of marriage, both the wives and the mistresses need to talk with the children, especially those just entering secondary school, and tell them to be prepared to meet their brothers and sisters and treat them with love. Now how's that for a peace party, Mr Editor!