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Sanction parents who neglect their kids – Speid

Published:Tuesday | January 21, 2020 | 4:35 AMChristopher Thomas /Gleaner Writer


Owen Spied, the outspoken president of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), wants parents who fail to play a role in the personal and educational growth of their children to be held accountable, to the point of being sanctioned by the courts.

“I want us to charge our parents because for too long, the delinquent ones have been getting away with almost murder, with their reluctance to be a part of their children’s education, growth, and development,” noted Spied, while addressing last Thursday’s inaugural installation of the Anchovy High School Past Students’ Association in St James.

“We want to say that you should charge them to begin some sort of social and emotional intelligence programme at home, because that is where it begins,” added Speid.

According to Spied, students’ development should begin at home, but parents often neglect their responsibility to oversee their growth. “If you try, over and over, to get them to pay attention to their children’s growth and development, and the parents continue to be delinquent, they should be punished with hard labour and sentenced to community service at the school. If they don’t abide by that kind of ruling from a judge or a justice of the peace, then they should take harsher punishment,” stated Speid.

The JTA president suggested that better parenting should be included as part of the Ministry of Education’s Code of Regulations in order to produce better-behaved students. “I strongly believe, at this time in Jamaica, that when we look in the Code of Regulations for things that affect teachers and teaching, we need to start looking at parenting. Better mothering and fathering would do the trick in this country, to help the children understand what it means to be patient, to be responsible, to show care, to show mindfulness, and to show how their actions affect other people around them,” argued Speid.

Speid’s comments come at a time when the nation’s teachers are coming under fire for responding negatively when they encounter provocation from students, who at times make the classroom environment very stressful. In a recent incident at the Pembroke Hall High School, in St Andrew, teacher Marsha Lee Crawford was videotaped making threats to harm a student, who was in turn arguing with her. She is poised to face disciplinary action via the provisions of the Ministry of Education’s Code of Conduct.