Thursday, Jul 2, 2020
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Government disconnected from reality of Bahamian youth

Dear Editor,

The government’s silence on the C.V. Bethel incident is deafening.

Youth violence and rebellion are merely symptoms.

The marginalization of young people must end.

This administration is disconnected from the Bahamian youth reality.

A comprehensive and collaborative approach is needed.

According to recent media reports, a teacher was allegedly assaulted by two male students on C.V. Bethel Senior High School’s grounds, resulting in the educator having to be rushed to the hospital.

We, the Young Democrats Alliance (YDA), despise and condemn the use of violence, in any manner, by any segment of our society; particularly, we condemn the recent violent act at C.V. Bethel. It is our belief that any and all disputes should be resolved peacefully and amicably. In the days following the alleged attack, the government’s silence on this matter has been deafening.

This is disappointing and perpetuates the practice of ignoring matters impacting the youth of our nation. We submit that the C.V. Bethel incident is merely a symptom of a much larger and systemic issue crossing sectors and institutions in the Bahamian society. Violence and aggression are tools of those who lack the proper communicative and interpersonal skills to resolve conflict and differences. Violence and aggression are also the resources of the disenfranchised and those who feel they have no other recourse to deal with difficult situations at hand.

Our educational system is in desperate need of a major overhaul. We require new and innovative ideas to advance not only learning but also how we socialize and develop students as holistic and productive members of society. In order to achieve this, we must cultivate an educational system that is safe, productive and innovative which translates into safer communities.

The alleged C.V. Bethel attack should serve as a wake-up call to our political leaders and the Bahamian people. The trend of rebellion and violence among our young people must be treated with the utmost urgency and importance, lest we lose a generation.

It is time for the government to place specific focus on the plight of the Bahamian youth. The actions of the present administration suggest that priority is not being placed on the empowerment and inclusion of young people from an economic and governance perspective. This is reflected in the high youth unemployment rate of 23.1 percent and policies enacted to date which fail to address challenges that confront young people. These are clearly the evidence of disconnection from the reality and real struggles we face in our own country.

We need a collaborative and non-partisan approach which embraces input from educators, social workers, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, civil society and the public to address this menace. We must consider whether there is a need for more training for teachers on the psycho-social realities facing our youth and make the requisite resources available to young people facing trauma at home. Law enforcement agencies must also be sensitive to the needs of our young people, rather than marginalizing and profiling them. The youth are the future of our Bahamaland, and we can no longer afford to ignore them.

The YDA stands ready as capable facilitators of the urgent change that needs to happen regarding the youth of our country. There is an undercurrent of disease and ambivalence toward an appropriate solution. Our country’s leaders have stuck their heads in the sand and have yet to issue a release on this matter. How much longer would you have our students, our children, our future suffer in silence and only be noticed by tragic, immoral disingenuous cries of attention when they are so full of life, hope, potential and opportunity for a truly better and brighter Bahamas?

— Laron G. Moxey

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