Monthly Archives: April 2012

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Wayne Campbell, Contributor

JUST WHEN one thought all the factors negatively affecting and impacting Jamaica’s education system have been analysed, another form of impediment has reared its ugly head, that of sexual bullying. Sexual bullying involves comments, jokes, actions, or attention that is intended to hurt, offend, or intimidate another person. It is more common than we think, and it affects pupils in both single-sex high schools and co-educational high schools alike.

As with any form of bullying, the perpetrator seeks out that individual who is considered the weakest among the pack. Sexually bullying is no different. This form of harassment is usually seen more often in high schools as against primary schools. The focus of sexual bullying is on body parts, as well as the victim’s appearance and or perceived sexual orientation. Boys can harass members of the opposite sex as well as members of their same sex. Girls can harass members of their same sex and even members of the opposite sex, although I suspect the later is not as common as the others in our society. Adults can sexually harass children also.

Sexual orientation has to do with whom one mostly finds sexually and romantically attractive. A girl who gets crushes or who is sexually attracted to a member of the same sex may consider herself lesbian.

As a society, we have always operated in a hypocritical and paradoxical nature regarding sexual orientation. We have always viewed lesbians more favourably than gays, despite the fact that Jamaica is seen and considered by the outside world as a highly homophobic society.

As a nation we have failed our young people in terms of providing good role models. Our parenting skills leave much to be desired. A significant number of our children live in dysfunctional family units. Single-family female-headed households are now the norm. This, in itself, is the genesis of most of the problems/issues affecting the Jamaican family today. A working single female cannot adequately supervise her children, especially if she does not have the financial resources to employ a helper to assist her. The breakdown of the concept of the extended family is quickly disappearing from the Jamaican family. Many fathers’ names do not appear on the birth certificate of their children. The absence of our fathers in the rearing of our children, especially our boys, continue to add stress to the family structure. Our children no longer attend Sunday and or Sabbath schools. The moral teachings the church provides is, therefore, absent. The teaching of religious education as subject is quickly dying; this was also another avenue for moral teachings in our schools. Sunday is now a day for horse racing and other forms of entertainment. Additionally, our crude and sexually-laced popular culture, namely dancehall music, also adds to the destruction path we are on.

abandonment of values

Our proximity to North America and the influx and influence of subscriber television (cable television) are all factors which have greatly contributed to the abandonment of old values and good family life practices to that of new questionable values. As we become more sophisticated and modern, pornography has become more rampant in the society. Sexting” is now the norm rather than the exception for many teenagers. This is one way in which gossip, and sexually laced comments may be spread to destroy people’s self-esteem and character, especially in a relatively small space such of that of a school.

Therefore, we should not be surprised that our children are now experimenting with sexual diversity in this digital era we now live in. Children receive formal and informal messages about their gender identity from a multitude of sources. Some of which are families, peers, communities and, of course, the media. Your gender identity is who you feel as if you are on the inside (male, female, both, neither, flexible) While your gender expression has to do with how your act on the outside, that is, how you walk, talk, sit, dress and so on. Both gender identity and gender expression impact whether one sees him/herself as more masculine than feminine or vice versa. This always impacts how other individuals see and respond to you.

We can almost be sure that the problem highlighted at the specific Corporate Area all-girls school is not unique to that institution. All our educational institutions, co-educational and same-sex, are dealing with similar issues.

What can and should be done? The first line of defence against sexually bullying is the Ministry of Education, and as such, the Ministry of Education needs to take the lead in setting policies to address the issue of sexual bullying. A sexual-harassment policy or a bullying policy should be put in place to clearly inform all stakeholders that this type of behaviour is unacceptable. This policy should also outline the sanctions and penalties that will be applied if anyone decides to go ahead and bully another person. Clearly, we need to address the wider issue which presents itself. The wider issue here is our unwillingness to have a mature and frank discussion with all stakeholders regarding sexual orientation as a human-rights issue. By now, we should realise that by by ignoring or wishing the problem to go away has not worked and will not work.

therapy to change

Clearly, these students are in need of much therapy and counselling. Many experts believe one can change one’s sexual orientation through therapy. Our guidance counsellors are well-trained professionals and, therefore, their services should be made available to those troubled students as well as their parents. The perpetrators of the lesbian attacks should be asked to withdraw from school until they have sought counselling. By allowing them to remain at the school, we are sending the wrong message, not only to the victims of their attack, but the wider school community.

Counselling should also be provided to the victims of such sexual attacks. Maybe a change of school would also be in the best interest of those students. To remain at the school may only serve as a reminder of the horrible and horrific ordeal they experienced.

Additionally, administrators must be more vigilant in terms of what takes place at their school. After all these incidents occurred at the school. Measures must be put in place to have some sort of supervision and monitoring of what takes place on school grounds, regardless of the time of the day.

We should also encourage our children to speak out whenever they have been abused and or threatened.

Schools could and should create bathroom messages that emphasise that no one has the right to abuse and or invade another person space, this by itself will not prevent some students, so a list of teachers to contact would have be most useful also.

The Ministry of Education could also have workshops for teachers to remind and expose them to the rights of children. By so doing, teachers will be better able to assist wherever the need presents itself. We could and should incorporate all the agencies of the state that work with children, as well, in this fight.

preventative measures

It is quite possible the events of recent times can serve to strengthen our Parent Teachers Associations (PTAs) and provide avenues for them to find creative measures to improve the security of schools in which they operate, such as investing in high-tech security measures. Maybe more PTAs could install surveillance cameras at central points to ensure that their children, especially those in the lower grades, are adequately supervised after hours. Maybe they could employ additional security guards to bolster the existing security; this may just serve as a deterrent to the predators. The truth is these older girls have become predators.

Our schools should be a safe place for teaching and learning. No one should be bullied, preyed upon, whether sexually and or physically. Our schools must reclaim what they once were; a clean and protected environment for all to fully maximise their potential.

Wayne Campbell is an educator and gender-rights advocate [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].


Enraged ex with three names attacks former lover
BY CANDIESE LEVERIDGE Online reporter [email protected]
Saturday, March 31, 2012
A man who police said uses three names, is facing charges of assault occasioning bodily harm, malicious destruction of property and larceny from a person, after he attacked his former lover in a fit of rage.

Police say Marlon Harvey, also known as Devon Stewart or Devon Soares was ordered to return to court on April 16 when he will know his fate.

The police report that Harvey was arrested and charged after he attacked his ex girlfriend and used a hammer to destroy several items of furniture belonging to her, he then took the items outside and burnt them. He also tried to steal her cell phone, police say.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday.



by Dr. Barry Davis

Several men in the locker room of a private exercise club were talking when a cell phone laying on the be”nch rang. One man picked it up without hesitation, and the following conversation ensued:

“Hello?” – “Honey, It’s me.” – “Sugar!”

I’m at the mall two blocks from the club. I saw a beautiful mink coat. It is absolutely gorgeous! Can I buy it? It’s only $1,500.”

“Well, okay, if you like it that much.”

“Thanks! Oh, I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the new models. I saw one I really liked. I spoke with the salesman, and he gave me a great price.”

“How much?”

“Only $60,000!”

“Okay, but for that price I want it with all the options.”

“Great! Before we hang up, there’s something else. It might seem like a lot, but, well, I stopped by to see the real estate agent this morning, and I saw the house we had looked at last year. It’s on sale! Remember? The beachfront property with the pool and the English garden?”

“How much are they asking?”

“Only $650,000, a great price, and we have that much in the bank to cover it.”

“Well then, go ahead and buy it, but put in a bid for only $620,000, okay?”

“Okay, sweetie. Thanks! I’ll see you later! I love you!”

“I love you, too.”

The man hung up, closed the phone’s flap, and raised it up, asking, “Does anyone know who this cell phone belongs to?”

Wouldn’t it be nice to really be able to make those decisions so easily? Or maybe it wouldn’t – I think it would depend a lot on our personal character.

Some of you might be surprised to learn that the Bible has a lot to say about prosperity, particularly in the book of Proverbs. Now when we talk about prosperity, specifically financial prosperity, I think there is a lot of confusion for us as to what the Bible exactly does say.

On the one hand you have some TV preachers telling you that God wants everyone to be rich, and if you’re not, you don’t have faith in God. Then on the other hand, you have some who say that God wants everyone to be poor, and that we should feel some sense of guilt for being materially well off.

What we discover in the book of Proverbs is somewhere in between those two extremes – God specifically gives us the principles for becoming prosperous, but He also tells us to pursue prosperity in a godly way. In other words, God encourages us to pursue wealth, as long as we don’t forget Him in the process.

Rest assured that most of the principles below will apply to you whether you are a Christian or not.


Let’s look at a couple of verses together:

Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be happy. – Proverbs 16:20

To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper. – Proverbs 19:8

There are several important actions listed in these verses we need to be involved in if we are to experience prosperity, and they all have to do with our minds. We need to acquire wisdom, cherish understanding, and listen to instruction. Now these things can happen through a variety of experiences, but they mainly have to do with gaining an intellectual and spiritual education.

Let’s say that I plan on becoming prosperous through owning an advertising business. Most likely, I’m going to need to receive instruction in this area from others who have been successful at it. I might need to go to college and get a degree in this area. Or, I might need to work for someone else who is successful for a while, learn everything I can, and later start my own business.

There are no shortcuts to this – I need to learn how to be wise in business dealings, how to treat my customers, my suppliers, and 1,000 other things that will be involved in being successful. In other words, if I am going to be prosperous I need to take the advice of Proverbs to heart and do whatever is necessary to be educated in a particular area.

And while there are people who are prosperous who never spent a day in a college classroom, I will guarantee you they got educated somewhere – through an apprenticeship, through books, or through on-the-job-training. Somewhere along the way, they had enough diligence to do what was necessary to succeed, and if you want to succeed in this way, you’ll need to do the same.


A guy named Joel Schelsinger borrowed a book from his local library in Orchard Park, NY. But by the time Joel revisited the library to return the book, it was 24 years later. He had borrowed The Joy of Camping in 1981, but forgotten about it. In 2005, now living in another state, Joel had rediscovered the volume and determined to make things right. Traveling 400 miles to his old hometown, Joel returned the book and paid a fine of $2,190. The maximum penalty for overdue or lost books is $15 – Joel wasn’t satisfied with that. Knowing that the Orchard Park library faced a budget crunch, Joel calculated what his actual fine would be at 10 cents a day for all those years. It added up to $2,190. Referring to his over-and-above act of generosity, Joel said, “I hope they can do some good things with it; maybe buy some books.”

Now here’s a guy who could have paid the minimum, or never even returned the book, and no one would have been the wiser – but he had a generous spirit.

Proverbs tells us that:

The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

One of the secrets to prosperity is personal generosity. It is amazing how even secular books on business and success follow this biblical principle, and I’m not even sure they are aware that it is in the Bible. I’ve even heard completely secular and successful people use the term “tithe” in reference to giving a large portion of their earnings to nonprofit organizations.

It is a spiritual principle of success that many of us miss. And while I would not give for the purpose of receiving, at the same time I know that God says that He will give a return on my generous investment toward those who are in need.

Don’t expect to receive from God, if you do not give for God. I’m talking here about being a person who lives a generous life, and gives of their time, and finances to those in need.

Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing. But a curse will come upon those who close their eyes to poverty. – Proverbs 28:27


This is something a lot of people like to avoid, but the fact is you cannot be prosperous without these two ingredients. You’ve heard that old saying, “You’ve got to plan your work and work your plan.” That is absolutely true for anyone who wants to be successful.

Too many of us are like the farmer who went out to gather eggs. As he walked across the farmyard toward the hen house, he noticed the pump was leaking – So he stopped to fix it. It needed a new washer, so he set off to the barn to get one. But on the way he saw that the hayloft needed straightening, so he went off to fetch the pitchfork. Hanging next to the pitchfork was a broom with a broken handle. “I must make a note to myself to buy a new broom handle the next time I go to town,” he thought.

By now it is clear the farmer is not going to get his eggs gathered, nor is he likely to accomplish anything else he sets out to do. He is utterly, gloriously spontaneous, but he is hardly free. He is, if anything, a prisoner to his unbridled spontaneity.

The fact of the matter is that hard work, planning, and personal discipline is the only way to become prosperous in any endeavor.

Listen to these verses from Proverbs:

Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time. – Proverbs 12:11

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied. – Proverbs 13:4

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5

Now unless you have a big inheritance coming, I promise you that you are not going to become prosperous by luck, or by sitting on your tail end and hoping for it. God says that if you want to be prosperous, make your plan and then get to work. No excuses, no procrastination…just do it.
-Dr. Barry Davis

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