Stop making excuses for our children’s behaviour

Johann Kikillus, Ocean View Care Centre, Ocean View

Monday morning March 9, greeted me with another attempted break-in at Ocean View Care Centre.

Thankfully it seems the criminal was scared off, but not before destroying five locks which all needed to be replaced at great cost.

Shortly afterwards a new team of young volunteers arrived from overseas. They were very excited to spend the week playing with the children. This afternoon, I received the news that they had been held up at gunpoint in the Methodist church and were traumatised.

While I have become used to these criminal acts, it must be pointed out that ultimately the people that suffer the most are our 135 small children that we look after each day.

In order to run a free school, we rely on the goodness of others. Over the past five years, we have had more than 500 children, aged 3 to 6, come through our centre.

They get fed twice daily, educated, have a safe place to play and even receive counselling and therapy.

When the very people who make all this possible become victims of violent crime, unfortunately they often decide to invest their time and money elsewhere.

This, in turn, makes it even more challenging to keep on running a free school.

One of the parents immediately blamed the police (which seems to be the standard reason given for all life’s problems). I disagree. They were very helpful. Besides, there was no way that our police could have prevented the break-in or the armed robbery this morning. We assume that a church and a care centre would be places of safety and
peace.

No, the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents of the criminals that hold this beautiful community at ransom. Every parent knows when their children are prowling the streets looking for people to rob.

Surely they see the stolen goods being brought into the house at strange hours of the night. They must know that there is a gun or large knife on their son.

For a parent not to be aware of this shows that they are completely disconnected. Or they are knowingly benefiting.

We can no longer blame government or our police. We need to start looking at our homes. Then we have to take responsibility for our streets. We need to stop making excuses for our children’s behaviour.

When the police come and arrest our children, we need to stop throwing rocks and hindering their work. We cannot allow a few young men to cause the downfall of a community.

I hope that any parent reading this article that is aware of their son’s actions, will not only come and apologise, but take whatever action is needed to ensure that our
most vulnerable are not hurt again.

It is called tough love, but, at the end of the day, your actions as a parent might save your son from an early burial. I know that not all readers will agree with my closing comment, but the only thing that will ever heal any community such as this is turning to God.