Adults must always lead by example /

Ear­li­er this week, a video sur­faced on so­cial me­dia of an adult phys­i­cal­ly at­tack­ing a Mor­vant Laven­tille Sec­ondary stu­dent out­side the school. At the time, many were un­aware of what sparked the in­ci­dent but as the video was shared, per­sons with knowl­edge of some of the de­tails re­vealed what they were.

The adult was ap­par­ent­ly the par­ent of a fe­male stu­dent who had al­leged that a male stu­dent had be­haved in­ap­pro­pri­ate­ly to­wards her. School of­fi­cials re­port­ed­ly called in the par­ents of both stu­dents in an at­tempt to deal with the is­sue but the fe­male stu­dent’s par­ents re­port­ed­ly re­fused to at­tend.

The end re­sult was that at some stage, the par­ent of the fe­male stu­dent, un­hap­py with how the school han­dled the is­sue, de­cid­ed to take mat­ters in­to his own hands, re­sult­ing in the at­tack.

Nat­u­ral­ly, the video cre­at­ed a firestorm, with many shar­ing their views. One sec­tor of so­ci­ety was in full sup­port of the fa­ther’s ac­tion while an­oth­er was against it.

And this is where the is­sue of what Trinidad and To­ba­go so­ci­ety has be­come comes in­to be­ing.

While it is un­der­stand­able that a par­ent would be an­gry at any trans­gres­sion against their child, vi­o­lence against the of­fend­er, es­pe­cial­ly in this case, was cer­tain­ly not the way to re­spond.

In­deed, there are oth­er av­enues the par­ent could have tak­en, in­clud­ing go­ing to the po­lice if the in­ci­dent was griev­ous enough in na­ture to war­rant such. If not, then the school of­fi­cials’ at­tempt at me­di­a­tion be­tween the par­ents and stu­dents could have brought a more pos­i­tive and mean­ing­ful out­come, since coun­selling could al­so have been part of the process.

In­stead, the par­ent chose a vi­o­lent ac­tion which may now lead to crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings against him­self. More im­por­tant­ly, the pub­lic and bru­tal man­ner in which it was con­duct­ed now cre­ates an at­mos­phere around the two chil­dren in­volved and those who wit­nessed it that will on­ly steadi­ly de­grade.

No mat­ter what the sit­u­a­tion, this is not the be­hav­iour ex­pect­ed of an adult.

In fact, giv­en the vi­o­lent na­ture of the so­ci­ety and the cur­rent crime wave, a calmer head should have pre­vailed, no mat­ter how an­gry the par­ent would have been about the sit­u­a­tion. One can on­ly fath­om what may have oc­curred if that par­ent had ac­tu­al­ly end­ed up in a meet­ing at the school to deal with the volatile sit­u­a­tion.

In what­ev­er sce­nario we have, how­ev­er, adults must al­ways lead by ex­am­ple. In this par­tic­u­lar case, the adult should have guid­ed the chil­dren down the right path rather than neg­a­tive­ly ag­i­tat­ing the sit­u­a­tion, mak­ing it worse and leav­ing an in­deli­ble mark on all who wit­nessed it di­rect­ly.

Chil­dren, they say, may nev­er take adults’ ad­vice but are quick to im­i­tate what they see from them. What, pray tell, has this adult im­print­ed in the minds of the stu­dents present that day by his ac­tions?

In the same vein, this is the type of re­spon­si­bil­i­ty that should be dis­played by those adults who have in­for­ma­tion which can lead to ar­rests of per­sons who con­tin­ue to ill-treat chil­dren at State homes, as out­lined in the Robert Sab­ga and Jus­tice Jones re­ports.

Adults must al­ways lead the way and be ex­em­plars to the youth, who de­serve noth­ing less than to be able to live in safe, nur­tur­ing en­vi­ron­ments.

LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian