MoBay tragedy should be a teachable moment

Thursday, May 22, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

There is a lot of blame to go around arising out of the awful drowining of the Jones twins in Montego Bay, but now is not the time for that. It is indeed a sad moment for everyone, including community, teachers, classmates, friends and especially the family of the two boys, Brayden and Brandon. It is a sad moment for Jamaica when any child passes away under any circumstances. I doubt for a moment that there is one Jamaican, since hearing this news, who has not been heartbroken. Whether you have a child or not, something about the death of any of our nation's children pulls at our insides.

Having said that, what is the take-away lesson in all of this for everyone? I believe it should jolt us into thinking how we care for our children after they leave the care of the schools, and especially for those that are small both in size and age. Too often we see on our streets, these little kids who should not be on their own, travelling to and from school. We need to develop a policy in which a child of a certain age should not be allowed to leave a school compound unless he or she is picked up by an adult that is on record at the school to pick up that child. This will ensure the safety of the child or at least minimise potential danger for the child. If a child is not picked up by a certain time after dismissal, then the school office will notify parents or next of kin.

We need to think along those lines as we mourn the loss of these two promising young boys. I know that the entire community will rally around the parents and give them all the support that they need, because no matter how we have our differences, we put that aside in death and offer support, because that's who we are as a nation, that's who we are as people.

Ralston Chamberlain

Toronto, Canada

ralston.chamberlain@alum.utoronto.ca

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