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Parents to be Held Accountable for Violence Among the Youth?

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What is the parent’s responsibility for the spiralling violence in parishes like Clarendon? If one was to go by the views of the Commander of the Clarendon Police Division, Superintendent Vendolyn Cameron Powell, yes, parents are very much responsible. She may have been more irked by the cases of parents coming to the lockups in the parish and complaining about the food being served to their children there. The Police Chief’s outburst can be attributed to the complaints about the lockups and the provisions there. However, the overall social context that she is referring to cannot be dismissed easily.

Where Do They Get Their Guns?

The kind of violence witnessed in Clarendon and a couple of other parishes recently does give rise to several questions. One of the important aspects of the crimes is that the young criminals involved in most of these incidents of violence use guns and other firearms. Where do they get them from? How do they get the money to buy these firearms? If they do not take to violence, what are the other ways for them to lead honest, peaceful lives? These are questions, the society at large and the parents of such wayward children, in particular, have to definitely answer. If they had taken their parenting task seriously and prevailed upon their wards to remain in school and obtain an education, then the boys’ lives could have taken a different course. The most difficult stage, is as an adolescent, when children, especially boys, tend to drift. At that stage, no police force can enter homes and correct the behaviour of the youngsters. The parents have to exercise their control over their children.

How Can the Administration Help?

Many people question the police, the politicians, the government and the administration for the state of affairs in these parishes. They feel if the guns are coming in, stop them at their source. If the schools lack the proper facilities to offer the right atmosphere for these boys to learn and grow up, take care of these. In the ultimate analysis, therefore, this needs to be seen from a holistic perspective and the onus of providing the right atmosphere for the children to choose the right path in their early lives lays collectively on all – the parents, the schools, the administration, the politicians, and the governments.

Mere statistics showing that the crime rate has come down by a certain percentage over the previous year, may not be sufficient.


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