Minister of Education Ronald Jones today unleashed a stinging and unrelenting attack on adults in society who view young people as “ill disciplined”, “no good” and “selfish and all of that”.
In an invective laded feature address to students of Graydon Sealy Secondary School, Jones said there were too many “hypocrites” who engaged in “displeasurable behaviour”, yet sought to condemn the youth in the most brutal manner for getting into trouble.
He urged the critics to “dig deep into your souls” and unearth their own bad behaviour before pointing fingers at the young people.
“There is a view, unfortunately so, that our young people are ill disciplined, they are no good, they are selfish and all of that. Let me at the outset say that I do not agree with any of those descriptions of our young people,” Jones said, giving no clues as to the brutish tirade that was to follow.
“I have seen the brutality of words and how it affects our children. I have seen the exposés in our papers on our children. Yes, we do not want our children to portray brutality on our streets, we do not want our children to portray brutality in our schools. Tell me ye hypocrites of the world, when have we as human beings not shown some displeasurable behaviour?
“Seek and dig deep into our own souls, into our own consciousness. Remember our villages, our shops, where [we were] in discourse and there were some fights and magistrates courts were called into operation.”
He mentioned the Government Industrial School, which he said was established before any of today’s children were born, to curb the “head ears” of that generation.
And the very grown-ups who criticize, he said, were the ones engaging in all sorts of unwholesome noises, such as women fighting over “no-good” men.
These were the ones setting poor examples for their children to follow, the minister charged.
“So, ye hypocrites, not in here,” he stressed.
“The noise of adults quarrelling in society is noise that we can do without. The noise of some of our adults fighting with dogs is noise that we can do without. This brutality we can do without. The noise of two women or two men, the noise of two women cursing each other in the vilest way because of a no-good man is noise we can do without. The noise of two women fighting over the no-good man is noise we can do without. Noise of mothers telling their boy children they are just like their fathers is noise that we can do without. The noise of a mother telling her daughter you little ‘wuffless’ thing is noise we can do without. The noise we want is noise that liberates,” the minister continued.
Jones said every generation was different and came with its own challenges, adding that it was therefore unfair to expect today’s children “to remember things that they were never told, to remember things that they were never taught, to remember things they were never exposed to”.
He said it was reasonable to expect anyone born at the turn of the millennial to be upset for being asked to act in ways they were never exposed to.
This demand on the youth, he said, made it difficult for them to reconcile this “burden” of past realities and their own expectations for the future.
“It is grossly unfair, extremely unfair, to place on our children burdens that they are not to carry. They are not to carry the burdens of the past, they are to carry the hope of the future and not the burdens of the past. And for those who attach the burdens of the past to our young people, they are operating in their minds a serious dichotomy, a severe difficulty that they cannot understand because they are still in the process of learning who they are,” he told the audience.