Monday’s story on the arrest of three students suspected in two separate fights confirmed that the problem of misbehaviour and violence around local secondary schools particularly in the South Reward/Ebenezer/St. Peters area remains serious. In one case a father and his son were reportedly assaulted by a group of teenagers.
Education Minister Wycliffe Smith recently told Parliament he had been informed that youngsters instigate fights to record and post these to get more “likes” on social media. If so, it’s rather pathetic and a sad state of affairs that says a lot about today’s society.
Relevant authorities are taking the issue seriously and a special taskforce has meanwhile been formed to deal with it. A lot of the focus is on prevention, but those caught fighting can also expect swift and stiff punishment to send a message of deterrence.
Of the trio held last Thursday, two were taken to Miss Lalie Youth Care and Rehabilitation Centre. The facility at Cay Bay reopened at the end of August after being closed since the passage of Hurricane Irma, which meant there was no suitable place to detain minors who committed crimes for more than a few days.
It is now again available, along with the guidance and education that must obviously be part of any such institution. That fact alone ought to discourage would-be delinquents who have no desire to be locked up and lose their freedom.
Depending on the severity of the case, certainly underage first offenders should be given a second chance where possible, but on the other hand it’s also necessary to set an example one hopes not too many others will follow.