Some of the island’s youth have been failed by society.
This was the view of the administrative Bishop for the New Testament Church of God, Dr Kenroy Burke, who said he was seriously concerned with the spate of violence that has been taking place in society.
“What I have seen therefore is that we have a young set of people running around with guns and doing all kinds of crazy things, and it seems as though something is missing. I feel as though something is missing,” Burke said, as he delivered the sermon at the Harrison College Founder’s Day Service, held at the St Michael’s Cathedral this morning.
Burke said the level of violence that has been troubling many Barbadians recently, was a perfect example of why society must pass on the “legacy of good living” for the youth to live by.
He said the crime and violence seen today should be enough for all to want to stand up against it, and for young people to feel that there was something wrong with it.
“We know they don’t fear the police, we know they don’t fear the other gang members. But it feels sometimes as though there is no real fear for God in our society.
“I speak from an impassioned place because I see young people whose lives are wasting away. At 16, 17, 18, you should be preparing to do well in school and to come out with good grades, and putting steps in place for your future. That is what you should be doing, not running around with a gun. I speak to you from a place of hurt today. It hurts me because this is my island in the sun,” he said
Dr Burke, who is also the Director of Training at the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity and an old Harrisonian encouraged the students to be intentional in leaving a legacy. He also suggested that it was time for a return to the days when parents invested their time in their children who need them now more than ever.
Burke said parents must understand that their children do not need to attend private schools to keep them away from troubled young people, or negative influences in society.
“That use to be the solution. That only happens in government schools, so let me get them into a private school. That only happens at certain schools; no. It is all around us. Therefore, we need to train our children. We can’t afford for our 17 and 18-year-olds to be living in regret,” he said.
Past and former students, and members of the Board of Management of the Crumpton Street institution gathered for the service, which marked the school’s 286th anniversary. (AH)