he security of children once they step outside their homes has become a matter of concern following the stabbing to death of a schoolboy in Matara, a few days ago.
An individual following the stories associated with schoolboy violence would observe that a good number of these incidents have taken place either on the way to tuition classes or when returning home after these study sessions.
The most recent incident which took place in Matara suggests that parents need to be concerned about where their children are going and what type of dangers they are exposed to.
Many years ago, during the times when kids had a life outside school and studies, parents were ‘aware’ where their children were when they stepped outside their homes. These parents, during this era, had no reason to be ‘concerned’ where their children went. This is because their offspring had that sense of awareness to stay clear of trouble. In other words children during that era knew how to get home in one piece even after experiencing the most challenging situations.
Now the times are different. Parents need to be concerned about their children. Awareness regarding the whereabouts of the kids won’t suffice. Any psychologist would agree that choosing to be ‘concerned’ over being ‘aware’ makes the parents tired.
The Matara stabbing incident is in a way related to a female. This is an era where many parents who have daughters are extra cautious about where their children go. There have been many incidents where schoolgirls have been subject to physical abuse just because they turned down requests by boys who wished to start intimate affairs with them.
The Matara stabbing incident was recorded on a CCTV camera and aided the law enforcement officers to conduct speedy investigations. The assailant of this deceased, also a schoolboy from a leading school in the area, has been remanded till December 3.
The stabbing incident denied a mother and father a son and the nation and the school he was studying at a bright student. Such incidents question the upbringing of children in the present society because kids are hugely influenced by the violence they witness in the movies shown on television. It’s time that the authorities censor gruesome violent scenes in the movies shown, like blackout scenes where there is the use of liquor and products made of tobacco.
An individual who is not yet a teenager can be vulnerable to an assault, even death. Three years ago an incident was reported in Matara where a 12-year-old died following an altercation at a musical show. In 2013 a 16-year-old student was stabbed to death when a group conducting a discussion to organise an alms giving got into a dispute. In 2015 a grade 10 student of Ambalangoda passed away after contesting a marathon.
We have also received reports of teenage students going berserk inside high-schools and using firearms to cause destruction. There was one such incident in August this year reported from South, London where a 15-year-old male student-having a record of drug offences associated with his name stabbed four individuals. Now when we compare reports from around the world regarding violence which features teenagers, the habit of using drugs also surfaces. But our focus on the editorial today is not on drugs being associated with teenage violence. What we stress is that parents should be more aware of where their children are going and what they have been up to once leaving their homes, early in the morning.
Most Sri Lankan families see both parents being employed. Such parents might not have the time to look into the affairs of their children. However they must know that they are not released from their responsibilities towards their children just because they are engaged in this vicious rat race which ensures their existence.
Busy parents must find quality time to spend with their children. Sometimes a few minutes with them in the night will make you aware that they are in vulnerable situations and you need to enhance their security.