A Member of Parliament has blamed lax parenting for creating a ‘breeding ground’ of criminals,
At a town hall meeting on the alarming increase in murders in the constituency and the entire parish, St Phillip South MP Indar Weir slammed parents and guardians who deny their children’s involvement in crime.
As he attempted to make sense of the seven St Philip murders in 2019, the Parliamentarian said he was often confronted with parents and guardians who appear ignorant of their wards’ involvement in crime.
Weir told a modest crowd at the Ruby Church of the Nazarene on Sunday evening: “We come to church and pray and we listen to the pastor but then we can’t face up to the young ones that we are responsible for to say ‘listen, this is the order in this house’.
“But they would go to the same ‘block’ will be told, ‘the order is set.’ So they [criminals] know order. They know their type of order and they will tell you nobody can disrespect the order and they live by that. Hence the reason why a son or daughter would lie in cold blood because the order is disrespected.
“Your responsibility is to set the order in your home and it must not be disrespected. And if we can get that in every home across St. Philip and across Barbados, that would be the first step to end a lot of the gun violence.”
It was only after parents mastered their role, Weir said, that the efforts of schools and churches would be elevated. Furthermore, the MP condemned those who blame teachers alone for deviant behaviour as he briefly made a case for the continued use of corporal punishment in schools, a position at odds with Government policy. Under the Education Act, only principals and senior teachers are authorised to administer corporal punishment.
Weir said: “There’s some good in corporal punishment. I don’t think teachers should beat up children or take their frustrations out on children. But if the block can say the order is set, then we as society have to start and set the order too and we must equally demand the order cannot be disrespected.”
During the town hall meeting, Weir, the Minister of Agriculture, sought to ease the fears of his constituents and assured residents the police were doing all in their power to ensure public safety.
Weir said: “There is no need to fear…. As a member of the Cabinet, I am acutely aware of the respect we have to give the Royal Barbados Police Force and I am also acutely aware that we don’t discuss matters of national security in public.
“But I want to assure you that even if you don’t see a police van, it does not mean the police isn’t present, because they don’t always show up in a police van. So let us not bash. Let us have a conversation and discuss this matter.”