30 Jul

Weird topic?  Not necessarily. Once you get the gist then the smoke screen will be clear.


I was prompted to write this article after hearing the gruesome news where a man was killed by his assailants at the altar of a CHURCH!   To make matters worse, this holy sanctuary was filled with children attending vocation one of whom was physically wounded in the melee.  Can you imagine the trauma of those children to not only witness the shooting, but to also have the morrow and blood of same splattered on them?.  Imagine this was YOUR child. I was shocked. Flabbergasted.  Distraught.  Once upon a time, it was unheard of for one to take acts of violence into a church yard, worse to pull a gun/any fight and unthinkable to kill at the altar.  Where did all those values go? How much more black can our hearts become?

Let me pause and take a moment to explain a few imperative for my readers who are not familiar with jargons from the Jamaican culture.

Sleep dead. I do not mean that the person is sleeping and is dead. In Jamaica when a person is described as “sleep dead’ means that their sleep is not easily disturbed. Not easily awaken by things happening around them.  You must be wondering why the use of this phrase in relation to the nation.  We will get to that soon.  Let me explain the other section of the topic because I need you my readers to fully understand.

The word trod means to walk. We use our feet to walk and the only place the feet go is on the ground.  We do not walk on people or some things. If I replace the word trod in the title it would read walk on education.  In Jamaican terminology, to ‘walk’ on something is not a positive thing. It means a person or a thing is placed under one’s feet; down trodden.  Once we find ourselves walking on something it means we do not want it; we do not care about it; we do not respect it; we do not value it. By the way readers, this is not a physical walk but figurative.


I am annoyed at the growing rate of violence and as a nation we remain silent. We do not come out in solidarity and register our protest against these scums who continue to murder our children and destroy the reputation of our country.  It is almost as if it is not happening. Nine day wonder then it is forgotten.    These perpetrators continue to destroy the lives of our youngsters either by taking their lives or educate them in the way of violence.  Yet our nation sleeps.

I was working with a group of students recently on the topic “Communicating Effectively”   I was exploring how people communicate with symbols. As I called a list of words I asked them to tell me a symbol that could represent the word. The interactive teacher in me placed them in groups to compete with each other in this exercise.   I called the word love and I got responses such as “heart”, “flowers”, “colour red”.   The shocker came when I called the word Happy.  A youngster, 15 years old said “gun”.  The group went silent.  Like any good teacher would do, I gave him the opportunity to justify his answer especially since we were looking at communication; I needed him to communicate what he really meant.  His explanation was that when you are disrespected by another person and you shoot them, it will make you happy.   Children live what they learn.  This is a very powerful and sad statement;  A statement of a child whose mind has already been infiltrated by the demons of violence

Educators have taken a numerous backlashes for things both guilty and not guilty of.    When it comes to matters regarding education, teachers are the direct point of contact with students, thus placing them in the direct line of fire.  The nation rises in solidarity and is quite vocal against teachers- and the vocalization is not nine day wonder- yet, it stays in its corner and allows violence to flourish.  Individuals cannot fight crime but a nation in solidarity can make a difference.

Is this the kind of education we want for our children? One tainted with immorality and a society with criminal minds?  This article is not making blanket accusations because there are some persons who give teachers 100% support. They chastise where chastisement is to be given and praise where praise is to be given and assist where assistance is needed.   The point is not even about how vocal they are about matters relating to educators, but the comparative vocalization with matters of violence.

These acts of savagery must stop.  We all have a role to play.  I worry for myself. I worry for my family and friend. I worry for my children.  I worry for Jamaica.  Let us wake up!  Let us not walk on educators. Instead, we need to be vigilant; watchful and vocal on all matters.  Let us create a revolution.


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