J-FLAG needs to come clean
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I find it curiously coincidental that immediately after your newspaper published the story about children in schools being turned away by guidance counsellors because of their sexual orientation, the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) announces its willingness to conduct counselling sessions in our schools.
The instantaneous response from J-FLAG, which for the longest time, has wanted to do work in the country's schools, raises questions about the nature of the report made by the newly elected head of the Jamaica Association for Guidance Counsellors in Education.
In a press release issued by Hear the Children's Cry on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, the lobby group called upon the minister of education to immediately commence an investigation to ascertain the validity of the allegations made, as well as the scope and scale of the problem.
In addition, Hear the Children's Cry is interested in knowing what exactly is the role and position of the parents whose children have been so identified. Given the seriousness of the allegations and the negative impact it may have on the more than 800 guidance counsellors in the country, our organisation is urging the minister to move quickly and efficiently to ferret out the truth.
Hear the Children's Cry has made it clear that every child in the school system should be treated fairly and equally, and that any guidance counsellor who turns a child away for whatever reason should be held accountable for his or her actions.
Questions have to be asked, however, about the motives of J-FLAG, and the type of counselling curriculum it would want to pursue in our schools.
It's time to come clean,
BETTY ANN BLAINE
Founder, Hear the