The Soloist, Contributor
The action of the Montego Bay principal last week tells me that there are still some people in the education system with balls enough to discipline the children in their care. I say this against the background of having taught for close to 20 years and seeing first-hand that many of the little angels leave their parents' homes only to be transformed into little devils when they are out of their parents' sight. Plus, having been a rather mischievous and feisty student myself, I know most of the tricks in the book.
However, I did not break the law or engage in antisocial behaviour that would necessitate calling the cops. My father would kill me before the law took its course. So, as I have often said, once again it's the parents' fault. The parents of that child who allegedly stole the bag and the parents of the child who allegedly received it, have, in my mind failed their children. I don't know why this generation of parents are so afraid to discipline their children, but they are.
They are not taught the right set of values at home and end up breaking the law eventually. My father was so dead set against us borrowing things from other people, he taught me a lesson I will never forget. He always told us to ask him for school supplies and to wait until he could afford them. He said we should take notes, use the library and ask questions in class, but never borrow anyone's books because we could lose or damage them.
While in sixth-form in Kingston, I borrowed the famous Samuelson Economics book from a friend who lived in Harbour View and took it home to Manchester one weekend. Dad was checking up on my work as soon as I arrived home on Friday night for the weekend, when he spotted the rather impressive text. He saw the owner's name and asked why I had the person's book. I told him I had borrowed it and he went ballistic. He wanted to know why I had broken his rules about borrowing. He went on to repeat for the umpteenth time the famous line from Shakespeare's Hamlet by Lord Polonius: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry."
Then he said we would be returning the book next morning! Well, true to his word, he woke me up at 4 a.m. that Saturday morning and drove me and the borrowed book straight to Harbour View, where he took the book to my classmate's parent and apologised that I had borrowed such a valuable text. To this day, I think twice before lending or borrowing books. And my childhood is littered with many memories of my over-vigilant grandmother, father, uncles and aunts, who went to extremes to ensure that I was always satisfied with what I had.
My point is, parents must take charge of their children. It's a full-time job. If you were not up to the task, you should have either had an abortion or practised safe sex! Simple! Now, Mr Principal, I think that next time, you should notify the parents of the offending child in your charge before you cart them off to be dealt with by the police. Or better yet, call the cops to come to the school to do the questioning.
God forbid that with so many loose canyons parading around in the force these days, one of them had gun-butted or worse, shot a few of these students! What would you then do, sir? Think on these things.