Call for parents to take their roles seriously

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By Carlena Knight

Culture Minister Daryll Matthew believes that parents — more than anyone else in the society –should be held accountable for the whereabouts and activities of their minor children.

 Matthew, who was a guest on yesterday’s OBSERVER AM, was commenting on the viral video depicting an adult female and a young boy gyrating suggestively during the recently-concluded Carnival celebrations.

“I think the parents should be parents. You know a lot of times parents seem to use schools as glorified daycare centres, they use everyone else as the means by which their children get raised and when it becomes a problem very few persons want to hold parents accountable, everybody else must do something about it except for the parents. The video that has been making the rounds is disturbing on so many different levels and the relevant authorities will look into it on what can be done.

“But my plea really is for the public to hold the parents accountable for the behaviour of their children as well. Children don’t just appear or fall from the heavens like manna. Children live in a particular environment under the authority of someone, adults presumably, and these persons must be held accountable for the children that they raise.”

Minister Matthew was more reserved when asked for his opinion on whether the adult female in the video should be prosecuted.

“Well, the authorities can determine what can and cannot be done. I don’t think it’s up to me to say what should or should not happen because we are a country governed by laws. But like I said, it’s so deeply disturbing on so many different levels; but let’s hope that there is not a reoccurrence.”

One of the country’s most prominent lawyers, however, was not shy in sharing his opinion on the aspect of the adult female being prosecuted.

Charlesworth Tabor believes the adult female shown in a video engaging in lewd dancing with a little boy can be charged under the country’s Sexual Offences Act.

Speaking with our newsroom on Friday, Tabor is of the opinion that the simulation of the sex act, which characterized the lewd dancing episode can be tantamount to what the law classifies as serious indecency with a minor. Section 15, Sub-Section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act, Number 9 of 1995, states in part: “A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment – (a) for 10 years, if committed on or towards a minor under 16 years of age; (b) for five years, if committed on or towards a person 16 years of age or more,” end of quote.

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