School Violence in Barbados
We recently published an article concerning the murder of a teenager by one of his peers in Trinidad and Tobago. We are now saddened to report that in the past two weeks, there has been stabbings or other acts of violence in primary school students in Barbados.
Throughout the region, there seems to be an unsettling development concerning our very young citizens and the use of guns, knives and other dangerous and illegal weapons in our schools. This is causing widespread panic in our schools and the time has certainly come for the authorities to embark on a program of curtailing violence in all educational institutions.
It is obvious to us and some social scientists, that enough is not being done to identify and treat psychological issues confronting our young people. Too many of them are being forced into manhood and womanhood thereby robbing them of the precious childhood that is so important to intellectual and social growth.
There can be no doubt that a child, not yet out of his/her teens, who resorts to guns and knives to solve issues, is disturbed in some manner. In many instances, our teachers have not been trained to deal with such students. This means that without a proper system in place to detect and monitor such behavioral patterns, we may be producing and unwittingly inculcating a culture of violence for which we will pay a very high socio-economic price.
We have stated repeatedly, that the world has caught up with our region. The days of believing that we will magically escape issues confronting more developed countries, are the comfort of those who prefer to dwell in nostalgia. Our young people are exposed to the good, the bad and the ugly. It is our duty to help them navigate their youth, without concluding, that violence is the only or easy way to solving the issues they encounter at home, school and play.