In this festive and holy Christmas season, the Sunday Guardian sought out the quiet-spoken and reflective Fr John Pereira, abbot of Mount St Benedict Monastery in St Augustine, for the last
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T&T’s violence trickling into schools—priest
While bullying continues to rear its ugly head in schools, Monsignor Christian Pereira believes it is part of the national problem of violence. In an interview yesterday, Pereira said the high crime that has been plaguing T&T for sometime was now affecting the school system. He added: “It is certainly part of the whole problem and it is trickling down into the schools. Children live with that when they get home on the televisions but we have to deal with this in the schools as well.
“There is a general breakdown in the society. There is lawlessness in this society, together with the unwillingness of adults to set the tone and to guide the young ones. The adults, parents and teachers themselves are afraid of taking the responsibility.” T&T Unified Teachers Association president Davenand Sinanan agreed that what took place in schools was a reflection of society. Labelling T&T as a violent society, he said the school alone could not implement the proper value systems required for children’s development.
“The fact of the matter is that in 2014, we are a very violent society, some of us would choose to ignore that. “We have to look at what is happening in the home and how children are being socialised by their parents, how they are being socialised by other members of the community, the role that the community is playing or not playing in the upbringing of children and the creating of values. Violence has now become an accepted part of our culture,” he added.
He said the media was also culpable in creating a violent society by the contents they publish and broadcast. He said while teachers tried to instill the proper values, violence, sex and alcoholism were being glorified in the media. Sinanan added: “We really have to re-examine what is happening with us as a society and I have to give licks where licks is due. “You all in the media are not helping. As teachers, sometimes we tell ourselves we are fighting a losing battle.
“Sometimes you are trying to teach children certain value systems and when you look in the media, you realise that there is a different value system being communicated. “Violence is glorified, sex is glorified, alcohol consumption is glorified and the music that fills the airwaves very often is glorifying violence.”