On Thursday, July 8th, the Youth Council spoke with the Island Governor about alcohol and minors and the Saba Summer Festival.
They do not agree with excluding children from certain events. If anything happens at those events that children should not see, then perhaps those adults should not be doing those things anyway. However, they do understand that some promotors do not want minors at their events. They reserve the right to exclude children.
The Youth Council and the Governor agreed on the importance of the role of parents to give the right example to their children. Children should only attend events with their parents and parents should ensure their sons and daughters don’t drink when they are still under aged. The Youth Council was of the opinion that it is not only the role of the parents, but of society as a whole.
There was also agreement on the dangers of the use of alcohol and tobacco by children and teenagers. Together the Youth Council and the Island Governor brainstormed on ways to protect youth from alcohol and cigarettes. Education on substance abuse should be more visual. For instance, youth could be shown what the effects are of cigarettes on lungs. The Youth Council also proposed the idea of using wristbands and colored cups during events to prevent minors from drinking alcohol. In this way you can have the youth attend events as well and you do not punish the children and parents that behave good. The focus should be towards the children and parents that behave bad.
"It takes a village to raise a child and adults should be examples of responsible behavior, said the Youth Council"
The meeting ended the with the communal wish to continue the dialogue at a later time together with other parties including the Department of Public Health, schools and parents. The follow up meeting will be held after the Summer Festival.