Students at Jamaica College (JC) became the first set of youngsters to join the Gleaner news team on what is to be a series of Gleaner Youth Editors' forums aimed at providing a platform for youths to speak up and help find solutions to issues affecting them.
Under the guidance of outspoken, tough-talking principal Ruel Reid, the JC boys flooded into the school's auditorium yesterday before delving into the topic 'Drug Use Among the Youths'.
The forum took many twists and turns as the boys in blue tugged on the topic but, at the end of it, there was consensus that the problem of drug abuse among youths has become even more prevalent over the years. They agreed that measures must be taken to stem the current tide.
"Statistics on youths abusing drugs are indeed alarming and the problem must be placed on the front burner if we are to develop a wholesome society with a productive workforce and one which will produce the kind of leaders with the vision to take us forward into the ensuing decades," said school captain Gavin Samuels.
Akane Simpson, while pointing out that there are programmes in place to steer youths away from drugs, questioned the effectiveness of the Government and law enforcers in taking on the problem.
"There have been recent programmes introduced by the Government to help educate youths about drugs and its effects on their bodies but how did we come to the situation that we are in right now? How did it escalate to such an issue?" asked Simpson, while pointing to an article which indicated a connection between politicians and the flow of illegal drugs.
At the end of the discussion, the main proposal emerging was that the society needs to get back to basics with parenting and that parents should strive to form deeper connections with their children.