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LETTER OF THE DAY - MPs: Wrong role models for proper attitude

Published:Wednesday | March 17, 2010 | 12:00 AM


SO MANY times I have watched television and I am left in amazement, shock and trepidation at the behaviour displayed by members of Parliament (MP) conducting the country's business in Gordon House.

Abrasive language and threats hurled across the floor, shouting and boisterous behaviour displayed by its members leave much to be desired.

The most recent occurrence observed on national television was that of a junior minister, who staged a one-man walk out at Gordon House.

Consistent with our social-class structure (without being prejudiced), these MPs who sit in the House could be described as middle- or upper-class persons or the 'cream of society'. However, it is obvious, and must be realised, that social class has no bearing on one's behaviour. Oftentimes, we look at the so-called lower class in a condescending manner, but their behaviour demonstrates respect for self and others and that makes a world of difference.

Bad example for children

As an educator, I am particularly concerned about the impact it may have on our children, watching television and observing the behaviour demonstrated by our national leaders. They may think it is the norm and attempt this inappropriate behaviour to schools' administrators, teachers and their peers. They will believe that if a disagreement arises with a teacher or peer, disruptive behaviour is normal because our MPs do it. Classroom management would become a challenge and a serious problem for teachers. Why? The answer is clear! There is a social decline in morals and ethical values.

A student recently told me, "Miss, if you are not corrupt, you will be left by the wayside." I was utterly astonished and shocked at the statement. I had to explain to the student about being a humble, true and honest person in life.

MPs are expected to be leaders and role models, who display proper attitude and values to be emulated by our children. They need to visit the schools and classrooms to motivate and encourage the youth, giving them messages of hope to build our country and accentuate the positives.

Our leaders must be civil and circumspect in the execution of the nation's business and address issues in a respectable, dignified and tolerant manner.

Our children at school need help. They are taught the importance of morals and ethics, and rules are often instituted to ensure that they are upheld. However, the necessary reinforcement from the home is lacking, and civil society stand askance doing nothing. Let us not have the poor behaviour displayed in Gordon House recently, and at other times, serve as a negative learning tool for our youth.

Children do live what they learn, whatever the source.

I am, etc.,

Carole Jackson

(Acting) principal

The Queen's School