Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith announced on Carnival Tuesday that about 100 boys had been detained by police over the Carnival period.
He said the boys, who were between the ages of 13 and 16, had been detained after police received intelligence that they were planning to disrupt the festivities with acts that included assault and theft. The media has been dominated by news of children being involved in school violence, attacks on teachers, vandalising school property and teachers' cars and engaging in dare games such as the dangerous Jump/Trip Challenge.
This has prompted retired vice-principal and school teacher Draupatie Maharaj to release a CD and song book called "Growing Up With Values" specifically for at-risk children to teach them about love, right action, truth, non-violence, and peace.
Speaking to Guardian Media at its St Vincent Street offices, Maharaj said "The country is in such a bad state where crime is affecting everyone's life and we thought we will start with the children.
"It is a book and a CD prepared for primary school children and even younger than that. With children, what their ears hear, their minds absorb.
"I strongly believe that they need to start with children. When they grow up with these values they will think twice before embarking on a life of crime.
"Together with my grandchildren, Vaishnavi, Saakshi, Nishesh and Sharvi, we've done this book and CD. You can follow in the books, but very soon children will become accustomed to hearing it."
She said once they go for a drive with their parents in the family car, they will play the CD with ten songs (some titles are Don't Give Up, The Time To Be Happy is Now and Stand Together).
She said parents can encourage them to sing and sing together, it becomes fun.
Maharaj said singing always does something positive to the mind and psyche; when you have a happy child his focus will not be on criminal activities.
She said she had been a teacher for over 40 years at Tranquility Government Secondary School, Chaguanas Senior Comprehensive School and Chaguanas Junior Secondary School, vice-principal for over five years, and a senior teacher at the last school.
Maharaj said she was very passionate about changing the value system in the country.
Maharaj, who holds a BA and Diploma of Education, said even after retirement, she has been working with a group of teachers doing remedial work with children in the lower-income bracket areas and underprivileged children.
She said they have classes every two weeks, conduct religious instruction classes at the Chaguanas Government Primary School and empathised with the children. She said these areas were where they were starting with them.
Maharaj said teaching was her passion and changing the lives of those children who may be criminally inclined was a challenge, but they must do it.
She said when they speak to children on a one-on-one basis, they see that they can change, while there was life, there was hope. Maharaj said she strongly believed that was the way to keep them away from a life of crime, the words and tunes in the songs were very catchy, children will benefit from them and she hoped that the positive message spreads.
The CD and song book are available at Charran's Bookstores in Tunapuna, San Juan, and Trincity, Jadoo's Bookstore in Arima, Sookhai's Diesel in Chaguanas, telephone and Maharaj is also on Facebook.
She said the introductory price was just $20; it was an investment in children's future and was well below cost which was done to reach a wide market as possible.