In a follow up to an explosive story being pushed as if the teenaged same sex active females are predators by a previous Gleaner story at a prominent high school has come a response by the paper quoting some suggestions by experts on how to handle the perceived problem, what is instructive is the seeming panic and paranoia setting in yet when initiation and perceived abuses happens in coed institutions and in full view of the public as we see everyday the experts, school and principal bodies and administrations were quiet all these years as they continued but as soon as the “homosexual problem’ turns up everyone cries wolf.
What hypocrisy, one wonders if it weren’t a prominent high school we would be having this fear masked as concern? look through the smoke people and decide for yourselves. Isolated incidents should not be presented as a wide practice by same gender loving people.
Here is the article from today’s Gleaner:
Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Staff Reporter
At least one expert is advising that professional help should be given to the younger girls who were victims of sexual attacks by their older schoolmates at some schools as the issue could have a major psychological impact on the students’ lives.
Psychologist Dr Karen Richards told The Gleaner yesterday that action should also be taken against the perpetrators highlighted last week at an all-girls school in the Corporate Area, as the attacks should not be taken lightly.
“Counselling and some form of professional intervention should be made available should the child be willing to engage. The parents may need some input, helping them to know how best to deal with it and the individual child might need some support,” Richard said.
“We can’t excuse these practices as just kids together establishing their boundaries, having fun. No, these are assaults and these are things that you could never do in a workplace, you could never do out there on the streets without finding yourself in trouble with the law and the law therefore must reflect that to these children,” she argued.
Rite of passage
In explaining the behaviour of the students involved in the act, Richards said the youths are at an age where there is often a rite of passage.
“The students use the activity to prove themselves as worthy by submitting the most to this abuse. It is really a rite of passage to belong to the group. You have got to suffer and those in the group determine what kind of suffering those out of the group must go through in order to be a part of the group,” she said.
Richards said she has had cases where children have been sexually assaulted by older children but the cases had to be examined carefully as oftentimes the perpetrators have themselves been victims of sexual abuse.
In the meantime, the Paediatric Association of Jamaica said assistance must be provided for the students involved because, as adolescents make the often difficult transition into adulthood, they have many developmental issues to face, one of which is developing their sexual identity and learning how to have age-appropriate relationships.
“During middle adolescence (approximately 14-16 years of age) in particular, many adolescents as they try to understand themselves, may become involved in experimental behaviours with either the opposite or the same sex.
“During this time, adolescents can benefit tremendously from the presence of understanding adults who can appropriately guide them as they make choices, and help them to learn from their decisions,” the association said.
The group recommended the creation of an open forum to foster useful discussion and solutions for the students.
“This may benefit adolescents who find themselves uncertain with respect to their sexuality and earnestly seeking some kind of guidance in what can be a really difficult time,” the group added.
The association said it was the responsibility of the state, school and parent-teachers association when they accept the care of the children to provide a safe environment.
“This would allow our children to mature, and achieve their full potential to the benefit of themselves, their families and the nation. The vulnerable must be protected and the perpetrators counselled and healed,” the group added.
I am pleased however someone mentioned the experimental stage and rites of passage as I hinted to in layman’s terms in my previous posts since the story broke both HERE and on my sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica on Blogger, see
Principal Association to address “lesbian issue” in prominent high school.
In talks with a qualified psychologist in the community yesterday she suggested that she was concerned the girls were being placed in a light of being predators she also said ” ……if you’re trying to fuel and poison the environment against lesbians, then suggesting that they’re abnormal, freakish and need to be punished via the law or even kicked out of school is the way to go.”
She proposed that what needs to happen “is a very frank conversation with girls about their sexualities. Children are not taught about why coercion and violence is not ok in the first place. They learn that it is thru how they see adults interacting. So there’s no reason for most to see that “holding someone down” is not fun and games, but violence. They also don’t know how to respect and protect themselves at the same time.
So when a topic is made taboo, it means that the obnoxious kids get even more power from rebelling and from making everyone afraid.
I think the situation is somewhat exaggerated but also complicated. I suspect that some of the girls are afraid of “lesbians” because of what they hear around them. And some of the girls who are not lesbians but who are harassing the others are just bullies. The way people tell stories is very confused and you have to ask the right questions to get at what really happened. For the principals to call in the authorities shows how stupid and prejudiced they are; they want to punish the girls for being “out of order” ie. homoreotic behaviour. Look how long it takes for any principal to act on the boys feeling up and being inappropriate with girls!!!
It’s just amazing to me how students AND staff at a school can be so clueless about adolescent development and how to solve conflicts. Tells me that the content of education is definitely lacking all around.”
A similar suggestion I had questioned in my blogger post linked above. I think this issue and sexuality in general needs to be looked at squarely at the Ministry of Education policy level devoid of panic and fear but while cognisant of the possibility of sexual abuse indeed.
Children’s advocate Diane Gordon Harrison
Meanwhile the Office of the Children’s Advocate OCA in a release said they have grave concerns about younger girls being preyed upon by older ones, the prevalence of homosexuality has serious implications, they continued that while the newspaper article spoke to the problem in all girls schools it is concerned about anecdotal mention of homosexual activity in all boys schools such sexual behaviours exposes children to serious implications which they may not be aware of, the Children’s advocate Diane Gordon Harrison says there needs to be a public education campaign to sensitize children to these risks, there are legal implications and consequences that can flow when students engage other students in sexual activity.
They also are recommending an open discussion on sexual activity in schools by stakeholders and some form of policy imperative to follow.
Way back in 2006 allegations were that adult lesbians were visiting schools and at that time the JFLAG representative was reported to have said that no disciplinary action should be taken against the gay girls. “They should counsel them if this is what they are, but advise them that certain things are prohibited.”
However, the JFLAG repre-sentative condemned the actions of lesbians who are allegedly visiting the campuses and openly displaying their orientation.
“No one should do that. You can’t stay on the premises and do that. I don’t agree with older women going onto the campus to entice girls to do whatever with them.”
However, she said that if that is being allowed to happen on campus, school security is not performing up to par.
She disclosed that her organisation approached several schools “to give information and seminars, but they wouldn’t have it.” She believes that if permission were granted to stage the seminars, the girls would be better able to deal with the uncomfortable situation.
and also see High school girls gone gay!
also see a previous post on Homosexuality in schools in St Lucia where a similar set or circumstances presented themselves with lesbian activity in a high school and how mature the response was: Homosexuality in schools in St. Lucia
Peace and tolerance