The Story Within The Story…
By Leonard Gildarie
The people of Guyana are to be saluted for what has so far been a peaceful elections campaign.
We are hurtling down to the most critical of all elections in our history, and save for the usual mud-slinging of whose house is bigger and which party had the largest rally crowd, there has not been any major incident. I did see one enthusiastic supporter pulling down flags of another party in Mocha Arcadia, East Bank Demerara.
Let’s us keep it that way. Our maturity will be closely scrutinized by the oil world and any sign of weaknesses would be capitalized on. It is how it works. We will not buckle.
Earlier this week, a video surfaced. The video was apparently made in a city hotel. From indications, a woman followed her partner to a hotel where she went directly to a room, opened the door and entered.
Her camera phone was on and caught the half-naked couple in a compromising position.
The video was uploaded on social media, and of course, Guyana laughed.
In the analysis, this woman marched right past the hotel’s security, and had information that led to a particular room. The door, for some unknown reason, was not locked.
There are several things wrong here. How did the woman know which room the couple was? Where was security? Was there an escort? Why was the door open? Was it a set up? Did the police force see the video?
It must be made clear that I am not endorsing any kind of immoral behaviour. Rather, we should be looking at human rights and the law. When one enters a hotel, and uses a room, there are certain acceptable rules about privacy.
For example, visitors cannot come and march past the receptionist or security and go to the room. There are protocols.
Secondly, the law is clear…sharing of nude photos and videos of persons without permission is criminal. There is jail time.
It is easy to check who first posted it. Technology exists.
When I first saw the snide comments and the feeding frenzy, I wondered what it was. Someone sent it and I recoiled in shock. I refused to share.
Everybody makes mistakes and we can bash that woman in the video.
Have we spared a thought of the repercussions? What about her state of mind? I fully understand the other woman’s situation and her anger.
Two wrongs do not make a right. I suggest the police look into this matter a little closer.
Guyana also watched in shock as another video surfaced showing a school girl with a knife in the back.
There was a fight in Linden between students and suddenly one of them was seen staggering around with a knife in her back.
Police released a shot of the knife later. It was a ‘Rambo’ knife…a knife with jagged edges that can easily degut a person.
The insinuations are frightening. A student went to school with it. It was used to stab another student. What kind of anger would force one student to do that to another?
There is little the school could have done, save for patting down every student at the entrance.
I know the US has those security measures now, as a result of years of deadly attacks at its schools. The alarming thing is that we have no idea how bad things are in the schools. There are no stats available…at none I know of.
We know there is marijuana smoking in schools. We heard anecdotes of weapons taken to schools. We know of gang fights. We know of girls barely in their teens having ‘sugar-daddies’, settling for as little as a KFC meal.
There is no time now for being politically correct and sugar-coating things.
The issues have to be acknowledged by not only the policy-makers, but parents.
In the absence of the schools lacking the capacity, parents and guardians have to step up to the plate and take responsibility. It is asinine to blame schools or teachers alone for children. We simply do not have the capacity.
What we are accepting as part of everyday life could be interpreted largely as an abandonment of values at the home.
Back in my days, I dared not contemplate walking with a knife in school.
A ‘Rambo’ knife was seen largely as a collector’s item, a status thing, if you will.
Marijuana was a ‘bad boys’ thing.
The fact is in many homes, both parents are working. There are many single parent homes too. Teens are left largely on their own and peer pressure and bullyism have become the order of the day.
How do we fix the situation?
There has to be a national conversation where parents and the schools and the ministry all have to decide. Should there be checks for weapons at the schools? What about mandatory drug testing? Should parents check their children’s bags?
The status quo should not continue.
I am sure the parents of that girl who was stabbed watched with horror at the moment it happened. They would want to retaliate. What went through the mind of that girl who did the stabbing?
As a country, while we are talking about oil and gas and elections, there are other conversations that need to be happening.
It involves our future…our children; it involves our vulnerable…our seniors; it involves security; it involves congestion; it involves corruption and state procurement; and of course the quality of health care…and the list goes on.
We have about five weeks to E-day.
Time to ponder what we want from the government which will be running the country for the next five years.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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