Stop #7 - St. James High School
Stories of neglected children, abuse, youths with no future, children getting involved in destructive activities, older men preying on young girls, parents forcing their girls to support them through prostitution, these were the stories of the students of St. James High.
On Tuesday the 22nd of October the Talk Up Yout School Tour made the journey to Montego Bay to hear the issues of the youths in St. James from the students of St. James High School. The Talk Up Yout School Tour is powered by Emprezz, UNICEF, National Baking Company, Purewater and Island Grill and this stop on the tour was accompanied by representatives from the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network, National Centre for Youth Development and the Office of the Children’s Registry.
In a brilliant display of pathetic fallacy, the heat of the second city mirrored the heat that the students of St. James High brought to the day’s discussion. They spoke about issues such as rape, peer pressure, pre-mature sexual activity, transactional sex, child abuse, crime and violence, juvenile delinquency, high cost of tertiary education and poor parenting.
The issue which sparked the most discussion was poor parenting. Emprezz asked the students to give advice to the Jamaican parents and most responses urged parents to build better relationships with their children. The Grade 8 representative on the panel Aldane Thompson had a very different message. His advice to parents was that they desist from “extorting” their children and “guh look wuk.”
The other students on the panel were Santos York, Trish-Ann Longshaw, Yashanique Thompson and Keron Morson (Head Boy). They were joined by their Principal Mr Williams, who spoke of his experiences as Principal of St. James High. His major issue was the lack of father figures in the lives of his students. According to him, he has had to father many of the children at St. James High.
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