Youth urged not to be followers

MAGISTRATE Douglas Frederick is saying that too many young men are getting into trouble and have to go before the law courts because they are followers and not leaders.

The Magistrate is also concerned that way too often he has to deal with cases where young people allow their friends to encourage them to carry out illegal activities.

“Very often I see that friends tell people to ‘come let’s go and rob somebody, come let’s go and shoot this person’. They go, and when I ask ‘but why did you do it?’ They have no explanation really, ‘oh, he just tell me so’,” he said.

The Magistrate said there are also some young people who are watching television, getting negative ideas, and putting them into practice.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Shaping Adolescents to Function in their Environment (S.A.F.E) Zone summer programme, held at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic last Friday, Magistrate Frederick said more leaders are needed in society.

“We need leaders,” he stressed.

“You [participants] have been given and equipped with the tools of leadership, so that when one of your friends tells you ‘come let us go and do something’, you would have to decide in your mind, based on your knowledge and your upbringing, whether that thing is right or wrong.

“You will be strong enough to say ‘no, I am not doing it’. You would be able to say no to drugs. You will be able to say no to a lot of things even though it may appear that you have to do this thing or you will lose friendship,” he added.

He urged the participants to especially pay attention to what they were taught about public speaking and explained to them that they will need it as they walk life’s journey.

He indicated that some young people struggle to articulate their points and express themselves effectively.

The Magistrate also urged the graduates never to give up on their dreams, even if the rain comes down or they encounter setbacks. He told them they must continue the journey no matter what, because at some point in time, there will be sunshine.

Magistrate Frederick said at a time when there is much talk in society about getting to source of the gun violence, he believes that more positive programmes such as S.A.F.E needs introduced in communities to guide at-risk youths. (AH)

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