Parents and guardians have been given a stern warning to return to tried and tested social values in order to alleviate the growing problem of deviant behaviour among students.
The warning came from Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Stephen Lashley, in response to the recent upsurge in violence in schools.
He said parents and guardians needed to play their role in implementing rules and ensuring their children have some sort of spiritual upbringing.
“The issue of deviance must be confronted from the village,” Lashley said.
“I believe that we often put our finger on the end result of the problem without recognizing that a movement away from some of the traditional values in Barbados [is] what really is resulting in the chaotic challenges that we have in schools.”
The minister added that students who are misbehave at school also witness deviant behaviour in their communities and their homes.
“They are experiencing a disconnect where many of their parents are not ensuring that their children attend some spiritual environments such as church on Sundays.”
Lashley stressed that parents should not leave discipline up to the teachers.
“I think what we have seen over the years is an abandonment of that critical parental responsibility. That is important because the reinforcement must start within the homes. I think we have to revisit the partnership that is critical for instilling discipline within the schools. You have to have a zero tolerance approach to it,” he said.
There have been calls for the expulsion of an Ellerslie School student accused of attacking a teacher, however Lashley said he believes a fair approach is needed before any action is taken
“I am very concerned about the violence in schools at present. I think anyone would be concerned. The minister has articulated a strategy I would support,” Lashley said.