Time to make our youth a priority

Monday February 12, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor

When the youths our children are growing up with are being stabbed in incidents that have occurred over the past few years, we really have to take a look at ourselves and our society.

 

When really great young people are having their lives threatened while they are out doing what most young people do – ‘socialising’ – we really need to talk.

These young people are just starting out in life. How sad. We have watched them grow, enjoyed and supported them, and then one senseless, angry, violent act changes their lives forever.

Must parents live in fear each weekend? Our love and thoughts go out to the ones whose sons did not come home that night.

We feel our township is a very unsafe place for our young and something needs to change! Some areas of town, at certain times, are known to be a cauldron of alcohol and anger on the part of some individuals.

When we google “stabbings in Cook Islands”, we see stabbing incidents have become a regular thing. A clear message needs to be made – this behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in our community.

United we are strong. We must unite to find a way through this. What would it take to be able to offer our youth safe, fun things to do and places to socialise? Could we, as parents, be more proactive?

Could there be patrols at these areas at the times when they are most dangerous? Do we need curfews and harsher penalties for those found with knives in town?

We need to open up positive conversation about this – our young adults need us to guide the way. Our youth need to be our priority – they are our future.

If you want to look at those who have made the sort of changes that are needed, here is the link to a short documentary on five ways Iceland got many of its young people to give up drink and drugs, which of course stopped most of their social problems. https://www.fbvideo.com/videos/10155311291007217

At least this is a starting place. Change needs action.

            Melinda & Andrew Ponga

            Turangi

 

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