We have failed our children
THE EDITOR, Sir:
WHILE THE recent report on juveniles in the nation's penal facilities is shocking, it highlights the fact that as a country we have failed our children. It is time that Jamaicans resist the blame game and take the necessary action to save our youth from the bowels of crime, violence and poverty.
We must collectively take some blame for the state of Jamaica's children. It is time that the family of delinquent children be held accountable for some of their wayward behaviour. Let's be realistic: children can be seen at various hours of the night loitering on the streets. Where are their parents or guardians? Are these children not answerable to anyone?
What of the schools?
The education system must also be held equally accountable for turning out children who are not functional in society. Though this will be an unpopular choice, action must be taken to protect and preserve the country's future.
The Church also needs to play a more active role in social outreach, especially to the youth, and get out of the confines of the four walls and reach the people who really need help. What use is there in preaching to the converted?
While I laud Jamaica's stance in the Haitian relief effort, if we are not careful, the earthquake of delinquency, violence and drug use will totally devastate the children of our blessed island, leaving the country's future in a worse state than the rubble on the streets of Port-au-Prince.
I am, etc.,