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Letter of the Day: Parents must control kids, leggo beasts or not

Published:Tuesday | August 25, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Parents must

control kids, leggo beasts or not

THE EDITOR, Sir:

A 'leggo beast' bespeaks an uncontrolled animal that wanders without guidance, the responsibility of which is placed on the owner. The phrase is, therefore, not original to the minister of education, but has been applied, for decades, to children who display the characteristics of unrestraint.

Suffice to say, the 'leggo beast' comment made by Education Minister Ronald Thwaites is only unfortunate juxtaposed to political correctness. But as far as reality stands, there are many children who are thus uncontrolled.

The minister has spoken a truth that should not evoke sensitivity, but contemplation, as too many of our parents have lost their focus of parenthood, paying more attention to lavishing their children with material things than to instill in them moral principles and decorum.

Whether 'leggo beasts' can succeed is not the question here, for I might have been described as such in my childhood, but have transcended the odds through behaviour modification.

Indubitably, teachers have a great role in modelling for, and to moulding, the lives of young ones. Nonetheless, parents need to stop slacking up at home and expect the education system to work magic. The parent-teacher associations, for example, show how little interest most parents possess for their children's welfare. They only show up for awards functions and graduations, or when they are called in regarding disciplinary matters pertaining to their children.

School is not a dumping ground; it is, rather, one of the stakeholders in the development of our children and youth. And for schools to be effective, the chief stakeholders, parents, must get their act together and learn to control their children.

We need to hold our parents responsible and encourage them to do more. For when children get into trouble, it's not the teachers to whom people are coming in search, but the owners (parents).

So let us drop the 'leggo beast' offence and ask ourselves: Are we in control of our children, or are they allowed to do as they please? If the latter, the minister's comment is quite suitable to us.

JERMAINE JOHNSON

jermainefjohnson@gmail.com