Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shame on Labour by Looshan Forum

Break the silence the authorities would now
encourage us to openly stand against child sexual
abuse, while other forms of abuse like bullying go
unnoticed. It's as if the authorities pay attention to
children's problem only when these problems form
part of the official calendar of activities. Many are, however, quite aware that seldom does
government language materialise into action.
Rather than assist those children who are victims of
sexual abuse the authorities would simply continue
with their campaign of "good touch, bad touch" as
if this is all that matters in helping children of sexual abuse.
Just when one tagline is replaced by another nice
sounding tagline, receiving the nod of government
officials of how well it sounds, perpetuators of
crime against children remain free to continue their
exploits with impunity. Government technocrats
are somehow contended for a job well done in educating our young against abuse as a target
setting. When what is largely needed as a weapon
against sexual abuse and all other forms of abuse
against children is enforcement, which leads to the
swift indictment of those persons who for all intent
and purposes violate the rights of our children.
Break the silence they would admonish an already
indifferent society, while the Ministry of education
remains silent on the bullying of a female student
by another male student. The ministry wouldn't
care to have this problem staring it in the face as it
was not on their calendar of activities. Their campaign on bullying was just about a success.
After all, the ministry had just about pull out all the
stops in educating students about the problem of
bullying. It had check off this concern on its short
list of concerns for this year. Who was now making
it a problem when it was so professionally dealt with, would obviously have to wait for next year,
as the Christmas barrels for this year were just
about being rolled off.
But if the message on bullying was missed by the
male student who was bullying this female student,
it was most certainly missed by his mother too. No
sooner was the bully's mother the main
perpetuator taking over from where her son had
left off. They were educating the people when all along education on the rights of others were
seldom upheld by enforcement. In this nation, the
relay of abuse runs from home to school, from
school to the community, from the community to
the wider society, with law enforcement hardly
done by a justice system too caught up in its delayed proceedings to careless. Now, you see why
we have become so apathetic. Bravo to Molly Allen for standing up for her abused
Bravo to Molly Allen for the tongue-
lashing meted to an indifferent ministry of
education and the minister of labour. Robert Lewis,
no matter how much he tried to wash his hands
from off this matter as Pilate did in the crucifying of Christ, he can't. No amount of water will keep
Robert Lewis' hands from being stained from the
abuse received by this little girl while at school. Had
Robert now conveniently forgotten to "step-down"
and to serve his constituents when he had so
proudly exalted on the election campaign trail? How quickly has he Robert now forgotten?
Robert Lewis had somehow lost his political fervour
from chasing all about the place behind Taiwanese
money. If there was no credibility left in him, one
expected that he would, at least, remain steadfast
in obeying the words of his God when he
admonished us "to suffer not the little children to come onto thee". With his mind on the Taiwanese
money, school is definitely out. He would rather
chase the fire engines in his constituency rather
than come to the aid of a bullied little school girl.
Robert Lewis missed a rare opportunity to serve in
a dual capacity; first, as district rep to a child and mother from Castries South, which he represents
and, secondly, as minister of education to a little girl
attending school whose mother believed that the
minister of education would make safe.
When at school a young female student is bullied
and bruised, Robert is absent. The ministry's
technocrats in the chief educational office is the one
on whose shoulder and not that of the minister of
education this matter rests. The chief education
officer is the technocratic responsible for handling this matter and not the minister; after all, he is a
policy maker. Try as hard as he may to wash his
hands clean of this matter, his hands are already
red. He has let down this little girl and her mother
simply for not showing any care towards them. All
Molly Allen was asking of the minister was to extend a reassuring hand at this her child's
moment of peril.
We see it all the time public officials coming out and
reassuring victims' families that justice will be done
without taking sides. To reassure this mother that
her child would be safe at school was an
opportunity again missed by the minister. Labour
pays lip service to the ills of the nation's children. There is this young school girl being bullied by
another male student and the authorities did
nothing about it. For two years this would go on to
the point where the child being bullied is attacked
by the bullying male student's mother. How could
this have been allowed to happen in the first place by a school system which is obligated to keep our
children safe?
Break the silence the authorities would admonish.
Now, Molly Allen has done just that and the
authorities are having none of it. Just recently a
young man was shot for the second time and killed
in the same Castries South constituency despite
asking to be placed in police custody. Must Molly's daughter kill herself or be killed by this bully in
order for her plight is taken seriously? An ever
bizarre twist to this story, will the bullied female
student's mother become a victim of bullying
herself, this time from the government, as the
Labour government tries to make an example of her for breaking the silence.
Social services have since been put on notice to
follow up on why Molly's daughter remains at
home. According to the authorities now showing
concern for Molly's child, it is an offence to keep a
child of school age from attending school, without
reasonable excuse. With the mother who attacked the school girl now arrested after TV reports
showed the child unable to talk and apparently
injured. The authorities now seem eager to
embarrass or to even make Molly pay for berating
them publicly for failing to keep her daughter safe
at school. The youth is the future, then, again this is St Lucia where lip service is only paid to such an
assertion, victims are not protected, the dead are
marched for, vigils are kept, and the living must
break the silence, and suffer, but are made to be
silent like the dead! Shame on you, Labour!

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