If not now, when?

If not now, when?

The Police Force of St. Maarten KPSM has urged families of students to help curb violence between them (see related story). Authorities noted a disturbing rise in school fights recorded on mobiles and posted online.

The appeal was mostly directed towards parents and guardians, but older bothers or sisters also play an important role, as they are often looked up to and even imitated by their younger siblings. Police, security personnel and educators do what they can to prevent such incidents, but without active support at home it becomes an uphill battle.

Sadly, the issue also has to do with a growing thirst for sensationalism among people including adults viewing and sharing shocking things via social media. If they stopped doing so it would perhaps make the undesirable practice less prevalent.

The only good aspect is that images and sound may serve to identify, detain, charge and prosecute culprits in serious cases. Youngsters who seem to feel it’s “cool” to be viewed taking part in such altercations by many others on the web should therefore think again, because they are putting their entire future at risk.

By the way, jurisprudence by Dutch courts states that in addition to the actual crime, those taking and distributing videos of mistreatment without any attempt to intervene are acting unlawfully as well. They too could face legal consequences.

It’s a relatively small community and persons, whether relatives, neighbours or acquaintances, are usually able to recognise potential troublemakers in their immediate surroundings. They ought to keep in mind that one of these attacks might prove fatal, after which probably everyone involved will show regret.

Those in a position to do something about it must not hesitate and perhaps have to lament later. If not now, when?

The Daily Herald

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