Reader’s Letter: Daddy, it’s back to school week

POSTED: 08/16/11 12:31 PM

Dear Editor,

As a former secondary schoolteacher I must use this opportunity to remind some of our fathers that it is back to school week. This brings with it certain very serious responsibilities.
Don’t get the wrong impression, the writer of this article cannot throw the first stone, but my kids got my full attention when it came to their education period.
As a father I always took this back to school period very serious. My mother, Irene Marlin, a poor single mother always promised her six sons a solid education, which she delivered.
Like her, many mothers can’t give their children anything more than a sound education. When I look back in my past I realize coming from Middle Region that those friends of mine who “made it” into the middle class and better, started with a rounded education.
Where do fathers come in? The past two weeks I had to listen to mothers who I know and don’t know complaining about these “BUMBS”. With all that’s happening, crime and youth, youth unemployment, young men dominating the prison population, raising prostitution among our young women, the high dropout rates in our schools, the increasing drug use among our youth, the gangs, HIV and STDs among our young people, just to name a few.
We still can’t find fathers that don’t financially support their children. Some even bluntly refuse to do this. Some feel as long as they are not “hanging out” with the mother they have no obligation. Many of these abovementioned ills in society can be avoided if fathers would assist mothers with the raising of the children or at least dropping off that monthly “donation” which the law obliged to pay to the mothers.
Mothers, I have this deep admiration for the job you are attempting. Holding two jobs, and sending children to school every day is gigantic job. Fathers, it’s our responsibility to at least assist with food, clothes, a place to live, school fees and uniforms.
The cost of an uneducated youth is astronomical, and we are paying for it in St. Maarten.
Before closing I want to remind mothers, don’t be ashamed to go to the Court of Guardianship to force the “no goods” to support their children. If they still don’t pay, go see the prosecutor, or go to the law clinic on Saturdays at the government building and ask the lawyers to help you to put an attachment on his salary or his other income.
I must commend those fathers who do what they have to do. Be proud of yourselves, and one day you will be able to genuinely say “THAT IS MY SANDRA, WHO IS NOW A TEACHER”, and Charles my boy is now a pilot. Imagine some “BUMBS” brag about their children and don’t have a clue when they had their last meal.
Child support is one way of helping St. Maarten. Child support is one way of ridding this island of many of these modern ills.
The economy is bad, inflation is high, so any help that “DADDY” brings home is a blessing.
Mothers keep slugging. People like recently deceased Mrs. ARRINDELL from Suckergarden who, together with her husband (Hamy Arrindell), raised and sent 17 children to school. These were legendary and exemplary St. Maarteners. We should take example after these good people.
Mothers, don’t despair. Keep sending the kids to school. No matter what. One day you will be proud.

Julian.H Rollocks
Former Biology and Chemistry teacher

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