Why The Debate Over Justice Seepersad’s Words?

Why The Debate Over Justice Seepersad’s Words?

Justice Frank Seepersad, at the Marabella Presbyterian Church last week, was reported to have said that parents should take full responsibility for the actions of their children. Even more so, he called for delinquent parents to be punished under the dictates of the law. His speech has subsequently attracted a lot of debate, and even the Judiciary saw it necessary to step in. We are wondering though, why would the Judiciary see it necessary to issue a statement. Justice Seepersad was delivering a message as a citizen and not in a professional legal capacity either. He was in the firing line not too long ago, locking horns with Chief Justice, Ivor Archie. We’re not sure if the Judiciary sought to render damage control over an already tainted image. Whatever the reason, we see immense truth with Justice Seepersad’s stance, and are of the firm opinion that good parenting is of unquestionable importance to a child’s upbringing.

While children should be given the right to grow up as individuals and not made into puppets, isn’t it the parent or guardian’s responsibility to nurture a child’s mind? Teach them what is right from wrong, and lead by example? How many times have we heard of successes, academic and otherwise, credit their support system as a clinical component of the recipe for success? We are also quite aware that many families do not conform to the conventional. And while we are not glorifying the model nuclear family as perfection, the point remains true in whatever manifestation a family finds itself in, be it ours or yours. Youth are shaped by what they absorb from society. So in the same way loving parents sometimes rush to defend their children, they must similarly be speedy in taking blame for their children’s shortfalls. It’s not a scientifically accurate ideology either. There are the wayward ones who for some reason rebel despite good teachings.

How often have we seen children basically left to fend on their own, then embraced by gang leaders and fashioned into hard back criminals with no form of remorse or compassion, feeling that society is against them or owes them a living?

So the parents who harbour wayward children need to face the law in the same way a person would if they were harbouring a criminal.

We should all be happy that someone of Justice Seepersad’s stature chose to disburse this advice. His suggestion that community mentorship programmes be implemented deserves acclaim. Our tiny country needs to adopt a general mentality of responsibility, for children or otherwise. Remember the days when it took a village to raise a child?

Isn’t youth delinquency a problem? The behavior of today’s youth as compared to a few decades ago is contrasting. Somewhere along the line, we lost direction. Our teachings became blurred, shaky or non-existent.

We are surprised that a call for parents to step up would stir this much controversy. If this much attention was placed on what the Honorable Judge was advocating, maybe we wouldn’t have the problems we find ourselves in today.

Web Master

November 8th, 2018

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