Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes believes a national parenting programme needs to be introduced to “turn this society around”.
He made the suggestion on Monday as he dealt with 17-year-old Serrian Jamali Scott-Fagan who was charged with using insulting language towards a police officer and having a knife in his possession on Hastings Road, a public place, on August 6.
The Jackman’s Alley, Orange Hill, St James resident, who said he is a farmer but has ambitions of becoming a rapper, pleaded guilty to the charges.
When the Chief Magistrate asked him what he had done to get the necessary education to become a rapper, Scott-Fagan said he had applied to a skills training school.
One of his parents, who was in court, further disclosed that nothing else had been done to guide the teenager towards accomplishing his goal.
To this, Magistrate Weekes said: “Wunna ain’t parenting . . . keep bringing children and just leaving them rudderless. This place needs that national parenting programme. If we don’t get that national parenting programme, we will not turn this society around. You all need to be put through parenting programmes. You all do not have basic ideas as to how to parent children. You will hear a child and what he wants to do is not the normal thing but yet you all do not know the details about the possible programmes at community college and . . . other music schools in the country.”
The Chief Magistrate then placed the first-time offender on a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the next six months. If he breaches the order, he will have to pay a $1 000 fine forthwith or spend 90 days in prison. The sentence was imposed on both offences, to run concurrently.
Sergeant Crishna Graham, in giving the facts of the case, said that on August 6, police responded to a report in the Rockley, Christ Church area where a young man stated he had been attacked by a group of men.
He then pointed to Scott-Fagan, who was getting into a taxi, as one of the culprits.
The vehicle was stopped and when police spoke to Soctt-Fagan, he replied: “you is a f***ing idiot, go from ’round me.”
He consented to a search and when a knife was discovered in his waist, he told police that he had the weapon for his protection.
Before the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the teen said: “I am sorry for using the language to the officer and having the weapon. I had it for my protection . . . . Sometimes some people does come ’round me and my friends so I had it to protect myself.”