We do not need a United Nations charter on the rights of children to tell those who are sane about the importance of our offspring and the necessity to raise them in a wholesome and nurturing environment. We do not need academic qualifications to enable us to arrive at a conclusion that children are frequently sensitive, vulnerable and highly emotional. But we do need a modicum of commonsense to appreciate that the utmost care and compassion ought to be shown to all children. To do otherwise not only could place them in peril but could serve to undermine our society at some future date.
Some years ago, during a career showcase day, a young Barbadian child donned the uniform of a fast food outlet. That image reached the public domain through the newspapers and via social media. One would have thought that the child created some heinous crime with the negative comments that her attire attracted. In responses that were not very far from cyber-bullying many with obvious intellectual shortcomings or simply empty craniums berated the child for wearing the uniform. The snobbish suggestion was that such work was beneath them and thus the child was doing herself a disservice by appearing to suggest she wanted to be a hostess at a fast food outlet. It was one of social media’s sorrier days.
With news from Government that this year’s Common Entrance Examination was likely to be the last, many observers would have been eager to see how the day panned out, to listen to the views of the parents and to hear the comments of our excited children. Whether one agrees or not with the Common Entrance Examination being made a thing of the past, it is indisputable that what some facetiously deem “the screaming test” has served a great purpose in Barbados and the wider Caribbean. If our education planners are of the opinion that it has outlived its usefulness in these modern times and that they are possessed of a better option, then change should not be seen as sinister if that change is for the good of our children and our society.
Therefore, yesterday ought to have been a terrific day for all our children, their parents, teachers and those in the community who support them and often watch over them. But instead, one intelligent little boy had his day ruined by an imbecile whose commitment to displaying his or her stupidity should now haunt him or her to the grave.
The young man made a grammatical error while being questioned by the media. He was no doubt caught up in the excitement of the moment. The obviously intelligent and articulate lad immediately corrected himself and completed the interview. To his subsequent embarrassment and the chagrin of his family, friends and teachers, some mental defect found it necessary to upload and post the video clip on social media without the young man’s quick correction of his verbal slip. The intention was clear – if not the motive – to embarrass an innocent child on social media. It takes an indecent level of sickness to contemplate such an act and a completely warped mentality to put it into execution. And we condemn the deed in the strongest possible terms.
We as a community need to protect our children and where Barbadians have information or suspicions of persons who might be using social media to hurt citizens, especially children, that intelligence should be filtered to the authorities for action to be taken, whether legal or merely for them to be deprived of the ability to access and use social media. Of course, by social media’s very nature, the convenient editing of the video might not have originated in this jurisdiction. But that would make the individual responsible no less intellectually challenged.
All our children who went to the various centres to do examinations yesterday can feel proud of themselves for having done the best that they could. Mistakes made in examinations, interviews, at play, the workplace, in relationships, occur because they are being made by human beings. They were made yesterday and will be made tomorrow and will continue into perpetuity. But attacking a child is not a mistake, it is an act of unforgivable cowardice.
One Reply to “#BTEditorial – There are some sick ones out there”
I was in dismay to see that a child was seen as fair game on which to build social media Likes. On the different platforms, even though multiple persons alluded to the fact that the edited video was not a true representation of the facts, the mocking comments which ensued were akin to that of a feeding frenzy. Emotional pain is real and if enduring such a situation could be seen as overwhelming by an adult, imagine a child trying to handle the humiliation. Unfortunately, I have lost hope in the human race. We’re too far gone in our failings to indeed make the world a better place. But, alas……