Educator decries parents who encourage alcohol consumption

Some of the students who took part in the anti-alcohol consumption program
Some of the students who took part in the anti-alcohol consumption program

Educator at the Goodwill Primary School, Julienne Martin, is lamenting the fact that some parents in Dominica think that it is alright for children to consume alcohol, especially during festive times.

She said there should never be a reason for introducing alcohol to children.

She made the remarks at the ceremony of an eight week anti-drinking program called, Ask, Listen and Learn Classroom Champions (ALLCC), which took place at the Arawak House of Culture on Wednesday 17th June 2015.

“It is reflected in a perceived attitude of parents towards the notion that it is OK for children to taste a little alcohol during festive times or during special occasions,” She said. “There is never a good time or reason to introduce or share alcohol to your young ones, parents for once you begin, when would be the right time to stop? Hence the African proverb that, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is quite applicable here.”

Martin pointed out that there is a correlation between the advertising of alcohol and the propensity of young people to drink.

She argues that manufacturers ought to label their alcoholic beverages with advisory warnings and the retailers must be cognizant of whom they sell these beverages to.

Meantime Chairman of the Regional Beverage Alcohol Alliance (RBAA) Dr. Patrick Antoine who also addressed the function had some advice to the young children.

“To our wonderful and brilliant students, I say congratulations and to all of you simple things: listen to your parents, listen to your teachers, manage your time, eat well, sleep well, exercise, study hard, be the best that you can be. You are born for success and continue to make wise choices,” he said.

The program is designed to raise the awareness of the dangers of underage drinking specifically among children ages 8-11 which utilizes cutting edge technology, research, partners of industry and athlete mentors to educate children about the dangers of underage drinking and it provides valuable information about prudent lifestyle choices.

The ALLCC was piloted in four primary schools: Sineku, Salybia, Grand Bay and Good Will Primary schools, where it was concluded that underage drinking and lifestyle development were critical areas in Dominica needed intervention and support initiatives

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4 Comments

  1. June 18, 2015

    I have been following DNO for approx. three years. The success of the schools is impressive. I see bright happy children and the number of young people who are going on to get a higher education is significant. Some leave Dominica and go elsewhere to fulfill their dreams. It has given me joy to see one after another graduating into their chosen profession with a doctorate.

    The students in schools in Dominica have an excellent opportunity to succeed if they will decide to avoid the harmful things that pull a young person down. Alcohol has been named ”The Great Brain Robber” and that is exactly what it is. Yes, it is wrong for parents to tell their children it is O.K. to drink at any time especially during festive times when there is such opportunity for immorality.

    I congratulate you for the ASK, LISTEN AND LEARN CLASSROOM CHAMPIONS initiative, and thank all who participated for your caring and wise contributions.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill, D.D., Evangelist.

    • June 18, 2015

      I cannot help but wonder what kind of parents would encourage their children to drink.

      In Toronto years ago I met a man who said he encouraged his children to drink because he thought it was important to teach them how to ”use moderation”. I hope his kids didn’t look to him for an example of moderation. Both he and his wife (the kid’s Mum) died young from diseases caused by over drinking and alcohol poisoning.

      Parents who approve their underage children drinking usually have not gone far in life. They don’t have great hopes for their children. Those who have high expectations for the kids will do everything possible to help them avoid the pitfalls including being an example even when it means sacrificing some of their own ”pleasures” in life.

      To give alcohol to a child – or even encourage a child to drink alcohol – is a form of child abuse. If it is not LEGALLY child abuse it should be.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

  2. Governance
    June 18, 2015

    It is great to teach the kids about the harm of alcohol. However, I did not see one parent in the picture. The adults are the ones who provide the alcohol to the kids. Why were the parents absent at this important event.

    I attended a lecturer by a Trinidadian teacher. He stated that one carnival Moday, he was plastered because of alcodol and one of his students recognised him and said “Mummy, this is Mr… my teacher”. This teacher was so embarrassed that he stopped drinking alcohol. Very drastic. Children see adults being plastered and some may deem it to be cool. We should take drunkers to the police cell to sober up and fine them for rent at the police station.

    We note that some companies in Dominica advertise sporting and Parish events. This should stop. Formula One racing has banned tobacco and alcohol advertising – so we should ban those substances at our sporting and civic events.

    Bottles should be labelled to indicate the health hazards of alcohol.

    • June 20, 2015

      People in positions of trust and those who teach and lead have a greater responsibility than the average individual.

      The more somebody is appreciated, respected, and admired, the greater their responsibility is. Why? Because more people will want to be like them. Others will tend to imitate them, and copy their ways. Students in school are not only learning to read, write, and do math. They are (even if they are not thinking about it) also learning values and how to make wise choices in life. The people who teach our kids are among the most important people in the country. We could never thank them enough for what they do!

      It is to the credit of the Trinidadian teacher that he stopped drinking alcohol over this. What a wise and gracious man! Students and other teachers can learn from his decision. There are choices we make in life on the basis of how they will effect other people not only ourselves.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist

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