Parents must do more

Law enforcers should not be 'running behind children,' says senior cop

BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND
Observer staff reporter
sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 23, 2017

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Commander of the Manchester Police Division Wayne Cameron has argued that parents should do more to control children and the responsibility for proper parental guidance should not be left up to law enforcement offcers.

Cameron was responding to a councillor at a meeting of the Manchester Municipal council earlier this month who inquired for an update on the curfew orders in place for children to be off the street by a designated time.

“We do make the effort to get our students off the road, but I just want to say to you that parental responsibilities must not really rest with the police. Parents really need to take a hold of their children and if they are to get home by a certain time then that is really the responsibility of the mother and father,” Cameron insisted.

He said that the police in the parish had to be spending a lot of time doing the job of parents, when at 7:00 pm they had to be “running behind students” in Spalding, Christiana and at Bank House Mall in Mandeville.

In addition to parents, Cameron made an appeal for the intervention of other stakeholders to, not only get the students off the street in a sustained way, but also to reinforce why it is in their best interest not to loiter.

The commander added that while the police sought to carry out their duties they had to be mindful that children have freedom of passage as a constitutional right.

However, principal of the Spalding High School George Henry believes children, in exercising those rights, needed to be guided by parents who themselves at times needed assistance in bolstering their ability to provide that direction.

Speaking at a ceremony held at the education institution that he leads on the border of Manchester and Clarendon, where cheques were last Friday handed over by Member of Parliament Richard Azan towards the development of vocational subjects, Henry suggested that some support for better parenting should be funded.

“I am… calling on politicians to use some of their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to help in the area of training for our parents who lack proper parental skills. It is clear that many of our parents, especially our young parents, are in need of special training to assist in the proper development of their children. It is crystal clear that most of Jamaica's ills start at home because of a lack of proper parental guidance. Most parents lack the necessary skills in parenting; skills which can guide children to determine what is right from what is wrong, what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior,” he told the function.

Henry reasoned that if tax payers keep up to their responsibility, politicians will have more funds required for the development of their respective areas.

“I want to use this opportunity to call on the tax payers of Jamaica to do all that is necessary to make sure that the Constituency Development Fund… (gets) richer…,” he said.

As Azan outlined his plans to do more for the growth of different levels of education in his North West Clarendon constituency, he said that parents should be an active part of that process.

“The problem I have is that parents are not getting involved with the school life like they should,” he said, adding that parents and past students making a small and consistent contribution to educational institutions can go a far way as an investment in the future of Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Regional Director for the Ministry of Education and Information in Region 6 (Clarendon and St Catherine), Elaine Roulston, advised that the National Parenting Support Commission has a reach in all parishes.

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