Society’s neglect of children in trouble

| 20/10/2017 | 99 Comments

Cayman News ServiceMM writes: Reading the articles about Devon Anglin and how his life spiraled is always hurtful for me, and here is why: Many moons ago Devon was one of my best friends in high school, a super smart child in all the highest academic sets at the John Gray High School; he was particularly excellent in maths and science.

Devon came from a pretty rough background and dealt with many personal family issues at home, but always came to school in high spirits and got along well with other students. Devon turned to selling marijuana during high school at about 14 years old, most likely encouraged by older guys in the West Bay community he was growing up in. He used the money for school lunch and often also bought meals for friends. Within a year and a half he was caught with the drugs and expelled from high school completely.

There was no social inquiry report, no mandatory counselling, no house checks and family background checks; no one looked over Devon’s report cards or realised he was a great student who must have been making some bad choices. He was removed and that was that. No second chance given for education or a high school diploma, no funding for a GED.

I never saw Devon again until years later. We were all out of high school by then for quite some time and the Devon I did see was not the vibrant young man I went to high school with; he had roughed-up — no smile, really severe demeanor, obviously toughened from everyday life and “rolling with the big boys” — all those years after being expelled and having his only true chance of success taken away because of being a misguided young man with no one mature and sensible to speak to or advise him.

The relevant departments, the teachers, the principles, the counsellors, the education staff and ministers and politicians should have sat with Devon and said something like this:

“So you sell marijuana, do you know it’s illegal? I see that your report cards are good and you do well in school, have you thought of what you want to do after graduation? Is there anything in your life that is making that goal difficult for you? Is there anything we can do to help? If we give you another chance at school, will you take it and never make this happen again?” etc, etc.

From what I knew of Devon he valued his education and was doing well. We were paired as a team in cooking class and he was also great at that. He lost all hope when he could no longer come to school.

If we, as a country, as a people, had the proper processes in place to help children like Devon when these first issues arise, when the dark truth of their home circumstances comes to light enough that no one at home can deny there is trouble and the child is in it, I doubt he would be in the headlines constantly for being a murderer.

He was a boy who needed help and encouragement; he needed caring, accomplished adults to be a role-model and show him the way, let him know there are other options, explain to him how they became successful, how much they make through an honest living and how he can do the same. He did not have those things at home then, but there are many more Caymanian boys (and girls) growing up in similar conditions as Devon did. They will also be in headlines if someone else doesn’t step in.

The adults who are actually responsible for them need help themselves and have VERY limited education; they cannot be expected to properly raise a child to be a successful adult. Many local parents in our disadvantaged communities actually fund the drugs their children sell or encourage their children into lives of crime by entertaining known community criminals in their households (as with Justin and Osbourne during their childhood).

Many local drug dealers provide money and food to such families and the parents have the children look to these men almost as role models – and truth be told, in our local disadvantaged communities of leaky ceilings, mouldy homes, no electricity or running water and hungry babies and children, the only groups of people that appear to have their lives financially intact and manage to have food each day ARE the drug dealers. In the “ghetto” those dealers are the equivalent to our everyday successful, career-oriented managers and professionals.

These young children see the dealers in their nice cars or sitting on the wall with a freshly cooked dinner from a restaurant their mom can never afford to buy them food from.

This comment may sound like it’s a story depicting lives from another country, but this is true. I have seen it, I have observed these circumstances many days years ago when as a young teen girl from a good family, lacking nothing but for whatever reason became “linked-up” (as my mom would say) with one of these notoriously “successful” drug-dealers who make hundreds of dollars a day. This was a life I did not realise at that time I wanted nothing to do with.

After 7 years of seeing these things, watching him buy cases of food and drinks to deliver to families he was close with, or giving money to the kids for lunch, all bought from drug money; watching the families adore him and the little children run to him and the young men look up to him (one of those boys being Justin Ramoon at perhaps 12 years old), I finally developed enough maturity to realize that despite how it was glorified, how philanthropic it may have seemed, it was wrong, all wrong, and I wanted nothing to do with it, or with him.

But I came away with deep insight in to the lives of our disadvantaged people and communities and how desperate their way of life really is. I understand fully how the cycle works and how much bigger the problem has grown since those times only 10 years ago when I was close enough to the fire to feel the heat.

The same young boys who looked up to this man I swore I loved, this “philanthropic” drug-dealer (and the crew he was with, some are dead, many in prison, others just out of prison, including him, and none of them able to get their lives back together yet), these young boys and girls are now parents, many with more than one child, and their children are being raised in a similar fashion with new “gangstas” on the block for them to revere and idolize (including daddy).

We have some deep, serious issues in Cayman and the biggest problem is we keep hiding and denying the problems and turning our backs on the children that are being grown to be the next batch of dangerous, hated, front-page menaces to society.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks and these men have already chosen their paths and been molded in their ways – but those babies, those children and those young men and women under 14 years old need somewhere to go, someone to talk to and schools that will give them the extra tutoring, a government that will fund the extra classes – education is the key to breaking this cycle. Providing the proper influences and environments to the children of this past generation of criminals and illiterates is the key to elevating our communities and eradicating home-grown social ills.

We can no longer release newborn babies to mothers and fathers who have obvious social problems, criminal problems, drug addictions or impoverished lives. There must be more we can do in such a small community than to shrug and decide “to everyone his own”.

This comment was posted in response to Anglin’s life tariff case adjourned

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Viewpoint

Comments (99)

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  1. MM says:

    Crime breeds (literally) in disadvantaged neighborhoods – the drug dealers flourish under the protection of these communities. What is ironic is that Cayman’s major “ghettos” are prime commercial land – is it difficult to dismantle these communities and spread the families out by building homes and assigning them to each family in exchange for the land? Doing this and ensuring; for example, that the entire “Scranton” community does not go to the same community zone – spread every family out.

    The close proximity of one “gangsta” youth to a grown veteran of crime is one of the issues – can our Government not use some of the crown land they are proposing to sell and build some little bungalows (with solar power and cisterns/wells) because the strain of utility bills is a major issue for people living in desperate financial circumstances.

    Government can trade new homes in small communities (I would suggest no more than 10 homes per community with a staffed community office that can assist with job hunting, have ready internet access and provide counselling facilities in each community etc) – trade the news homes to the families for the land in these neighborhoods and do it by legislation if necessary.

    The children in these circumstances need better at-home facilities and surroundings; they need amenities like a proper desk to do homework! In Government high school most projects and home work assignments require a computer and internet access – there are few homes in Cayman’s ghettos that have a computer or even have parents who know how to use one! Is this not setting these young people up for failure?

    Some of these children do not even get proper baths – no working stoves or refrigerators. Super cramped housing with deteriorated and aging furniture (only God knows what could be in the couches!!!)

    The first step to saving the youth in these situations is breaking down the communities that are housing and growing them in to criminals – and providing mandatory parenting courses and follow-up programs – holding parents/guardians accountable for failing students!

    Create a system that insists parents must come forward about circumstances in their lives affecting the proper care of the children; waiting 2 weeks for food vouchers when children are starving is not helping these people!

    Also, offering monetary bonuses and recognition to teachers who have a 80 to 90% class of student passes in end of primary and end of high school exams; also recognize teachers who have all age 5 and 6 students reading, writing and doing maths at level!

    Encourage our teachers to assist our students! Many of our teachers have been teaching for decades and not even their names have been printed in a newspaper with a “thank you” from our ministry of education!!! Where is the motivation to educate our children with such lack of any display of gratitude from our well-paid leaders and heavily-financed ministries?

    The Government and the community must come together to support these children and parents/guardians because truly the parents are only doing as they know themselves.

    What we see is a generational problem dating back from the 1960’s – the handful of youth problems we had then are all grown-up and now have full nests of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren!! I guess we will simply wait and watch another 50 years until there are burglar bars on every window; drive by shootings on every corner and more break-in rapes… not a very proactive society.

    I have reached out to the Ministry responsible and got the usual politically correct email response… there is not enough push from the voters and communities for these at-risk young people… everyone is very busy trying to manage our own lives.

    The problem is we will ALL be one day affected by one of these youths – they will rob us, hold a gun to our head, rape our daughters or devastate our families with a burglary while we are at home one night…. there is a growing frustration among the “ghetto youth” and as society calls louder and louder for material wealth and gain, their deprived reality is becoming more and more of a caged-up life and the only answer they know, the only thing they’ve seen, the only lesson they have been taught is how to sell drugs and use force and violence to get results.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the most intellectual and compassionate discussions I’ve seen so far on CNS, minus the odd hate speech/negative remark in the midst of it. I must say, there is chance for us as a society to improve our society if we would, as the writer suggests, accept our own individual responsibility, as we often quote “it takes a village to raise a child”.

    I was not the best parent all my parental life, but I’ve learned from mistakes along the way and now spend my time trying to help other parents and children to avoid (or rebound from, in some cases) the pitfalls they encounter in life. If we all corporately play a positive role we can help each other to make better decisions.

    As for the negative, hateful remarks: there is none among us who are perfect. We have all made mistakes all to varying degrees. Let’s work together to grow great children and a strong society.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    As someone who was involved with an after school sports program which is virtually free of cost, I can say that the lack of interest by our youth in such programs is shocking. Any program requires some standard of rules and discipline and that is where it usually falls apart. Showing up on time, showing up regularly and following instructions seems to be a serious challenge for many. Only very few kids have the commitment and dedication to learn a sport (or any other skill) by putting in the work and training needed, and even fewer can handle constructive criticism by their coaches/teachers/mentors. Don’t even talk about the parents who only show up when their kid gets in trouble, blasting out the volunteers who spend their time away from their own family to facility extra curricular programs. To get anywhere in life, be it at school, at work, playing an instrument or at sports, it requires dedication and discipline and a certain amount of passion and motivation. Passion and motivation has to come from within, it can’t be taught.

    As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink!




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    • LB says:

      that is because today’s generation is zapped. Their brains are transformed by all nnEMF that was introduced just a decade ago.
      GENERATION ZAPPED OFFICIAL TRAILER https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7R4gKs8ViI




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    • MM says:

      Very true – the children lack motivation because they do not have caring adults around to motivate them. If we were all born knowing what to do to be successful it would not be necessary for us to have parents – many of the children you are seeing this behavior from have been neglected in many forms. They do not have parents who have expectations of them or that plan to see their child become an accomplished professional, homeowner, business owner or head of a family. It is just push out a cuddly baby at the maternity ward and watch it grow up until it leaves the house… the mindset of many.

      Worst are the young mothers who STILL believe a baby is the answer to their relationship problems and the “fathers” who do not care about their unborn child enough to acknowledge they are unemployed, do not own property and have a small portion of an education… we have some major problems.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Re: “Many studies strongly suggest that the propensity for easily triggered violence is genetically influenced. Eg: See

    https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/07/29/does-the-human-warrior-gene-make-violent-criminals-and-what-should-society-do/

    Because of the unhappy fact that these “warrior” genes appear to be more common in certain racial groups, these developments have not recieved the attention they deserve.”

    How very eugenics-esque of you. Führer would be so very proud!

    Anyway, such “research” and “findings” only serve to prove that racism is a historical and staple building block of western consciousness spurred on, not by uneducated, toothless, in-bred, trailer-park dwellers, but primarily by the intellectual and influential sectors of society.
    It also serves to prove the inherent and institutionalised bias against “others” in western society. (I.e. Institutionally or historically racist societies will inevitably position greater concentration of “others” in the lower socioeconomic group thereby returning a flawed result.)

    Fact: I grew up in a Black country that boasted a quality of life; income, living standard, safety, political stability – that far exceeded that of almost any given White / western counterpart.

    When you figure out, and come to terms with, the main facilitator therefore we can have a meaningful discussion regarding the short-sighted interpretation of your referenced “study”.

    Until then, I shall allow you to simmer in your stew of bitter resentment – probably for having to humble your conditioned mindset and grovel for a position in this society which, by your own admission, is superior to from whence you came.

    – Whodatis

    *Hint: Race has nothing to do with crime rates. (E.g. We find almost identical dysfunction in the deprived slums of Belfast, Delhi, Lagos, Yorkshire (notably, West), Brooklyn – take your pick.)
    Nevertheless, due to conditioning and bias, many people interpret or process identical scenarios differently. Go figure.

    ** Western society is the absolute worst case study for “racial trends” – simply because of the inevitable residual effects of generational, inhumane treatment of other groups.

    Any scientist worth their salt would realise this from the outset and adjust accordingly. Failure to do so is evidence of; an unintelligent person, an intellectually dishonest person, or just a plain old intellectual racist – of whom we have seen many.

    *** In light of modern history and the ongoing fallout therefrom, if we are discussing propensity for dangerous or criminal behaviour according to race – the “White man” has won that trophy many, many times over.
    Granted, this may be a difficult concept to grasp because he has turned around and honoured and idolised the devils of history by way of statues, holidays, naming-ceremonies, cities, etc but the truth remains.

    From the USA, to Central and South America, to Australia, Canada, Chagos (for my Stans) Europe, South Africa, etc.
    No racial group has executed more pre-emptive destruction, mass murder, genocide, dispossession, rape and pillaging than the identifiable modern White.

    Just sayin…




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    • MM says:

      I dare say that such occurrences are more linked to societal and cultural influences than anything genetic – “environment is stronger than heredity”.

      Take a prince from Buckingham Palace at birth and place him in to a family in ‘Scranton’ or ‘Swamp’ – the child may grow up feeling that they don’t fit in; but by the age of 13 years old that prince would be well intertwined and most likely a leader on the block.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I guess that makes sense – as far as this study goes at least.

        Won’t find many bloodlines or genepools more violent than Anglo-European royalty.

        – Who




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  5. Anonymous says:

    This is such a sad story and I can believe it because one of my very own relatives are sleeping in their grave today because of not having the proper up bringing. Whether a child was born in wedlock or not it is the same as other children. I one day asked my relative why do you hang out around this certain bar in West Bay and his sad reply was “how do you think I get my hamburgers and other food” . Then I realizes that he had given me the right answer. He was one of the most truthful and lovable youths in West Bay but coming from a humble beginning and no parenting. Its difficult for a sick mother to raise a child on her own. He watched drugs in the bush for the evil men and they paid him in return. Before he was taken from this earth he was a changed young man. But so sad never had the opportunity of becoming the man that he could have been. We are not doing our home work Cayman. Why allow so many churches with work permit members who don’t offer anything to our Society? If each church took two or three boys and helped them then we would have a better community. The churches now is about Tenure, money, and not to mention elevation. All these kids need is someone to listen to their problems and guide them.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Many studies strongly suggest that the propensity for easily triggered violence is genetically influenced. Eg: See

    https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/07/29/does-the-human-warrior-gene-make-violent-criminals-and-what-should-society-do/

    Because of the unhappy fact that these “warrior” genes appear to be more common in certain racial groups, these developments have not recieved the attention they deserve. I believe that studies also show that a person who is more easily triggered, can be trained and conditioned to handle that propensity. Most good martial arts programs emphasize that training aspect.

    Just as a good educational system should have programs to test the child’s athletic and cognitive abilities, it might be wise to test all children for “warrior” genes, and enhance the training for childern so constituted. It would be a shame to deprive kids of training to meet overcome a challenge that is not their fault because we adults are too politically correct to face facts, or too afraid of being called names by misguided “social justice” idiots.




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    • Unison says:

      i think of it as god-potential coded in young peoples genes. do u know if the high and middle schools do such test? 🙂




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I can see “the children” may not be the only ones who carry the “warrior gene.”

      Be careful dear, or the CI government may find research that supports a “lack of empathy gene” as a reason not to approve your Permanent Residency request.

      See where this is going …




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    • Anonymous says:

      Others have responded to you with name calling…talking about being warriors; without viewing the link I’m taking it that there are ways that you have researched to might help to recognize an explosive genetic trait, that if addressed early enough might help a person to manage themselves better and not get shafted by one’s own behaviour to which one is, unfortunately, predisposed, for which I as a Caymanian would say “thank you” instead of eating you before accessing the link or considering what your intent is. Please forgive the others. We live in a bullying society that is taught to act that way from our piracy ancestry to politician piracy in the Legislative Assembly. We think that convicts are our worse enemies, that they are warriors and that they cease being humans on incarceration, but of all the criminals out there, those behind the keyboards with the “anonymous” label are the most predisposed to explosive, warrior behaviour…indisputably! You’ve read what they’ve had to say. Nothing more can be said. We are warriors even in speech on a website!




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  7. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many (and how much) are being regularly paid to provide much needed services for troubled and disadvantaged kids, and kids with learning disabilities? How many kids we are talking about, if the entire population is under 60K.

    There are governmental departements (from .gov.ky):
    Community Affairs, Youth and Sports (Ministry of);
    Community Rehabilitation; Counseling Services;
    Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture & Lands (Ministry of);
    Family Resource Centre; Youth Services Unit.

    Charitable & Voluntary Organisations (from caymanresident site):
    Aim Higher Initiative;
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands;
    Feed Our Future; LIFE (Literacy is for Everyone) Ltd;
    National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO);

    And please stop blaming parents, if they could they would, don’t you think? They are victims themselves.




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    • MM says:

      I must agree – I have reviewed the last Government budget quite thoroughly and there were many reductions in the funding of several youth, community and sports programs despite departments already being understaffed and underfunded.

      Many of the people who are employed are just there because it is a job – there are no performance reviews of social workers and no one follows up with the children after their file has been passed on.

      It is easy to overlook a child when there are no adults in their lives who ensure their case is dealt with – if such adults were in their lives the children would not need a social worker anyway. Social workers in Cayman draft and file reports for the sake of compliance with internal policies and procedures – not for the sake of ensuring when that child leaves their care, the child leaves having felt like for once, there is an adult who cares.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    My daughter went to JG, and there was a lot of peer pressure to behave anti-socially. If children do not have a strong family foundation I can see how they would easily fall prey to the lure of fast money, and false friends. If they find nothing positive in their own lives they will seek it elsewhere. Children, especially teenagers, need guidance.

    However…That is not the school’s job. That is the parents job.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Did Cayman have these issues 30 or 40 years ago? Does the government spend more or less money on social issues than it did 30 or 40 years ago?




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    • Marathon says:

      Successive Cayman Governments have shown they will happily throw (the people’s) money at problems but lack the intellect or will to solve them.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes Cayman did. A lot of these families carry a similar story through generations. It is why breaking the cycle is so incredibly hard. Much harder than the OP and many commentators think it is.




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    • MM says:

      Problems with our youth were identified by our National Hero Ms Sybil Hylton (our first probation officer) in the 60’s (one could imagine there may have been a hand full of cases). My Hylton raised the issue with the Government from then because she realized it was not a case that the parents could handle. She spent her life trying to improve social issues in Cayman – if she had been taken more seriously we may not have the serious issues we have now.

      I wonder what percentage of public high schoolers go off to university?

      Ms Hylton’s bio from Gov.ky below:

      ——————————————–
      http://www.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/cighome/cayman/thepeople/heroes

      Remembered for “An outstanding commitment to youth”, Mrs. Sybil Joyce Hylton, MBE (1913 to 2006), the daughter of Edward and Jane Russell and wife of Wilfred Augustus “Conrad” Hylton, was Cayman’s first probation and welfare officer and a lifelong advocate for disadvantaged young people.

      Mrs. Hylton became the Islands’ sole probation officer in 1963, going on to serve as the first head of the country’s Probation and Welfare Department until 1982. That was a role for which she was particularly well-suited and she revolutionised her department’s work. Her background and training included years of volunteering with the Jamaican authorities, with whom she maintained a close relationship throughout her tenure.

      By the time of her appointment, she was already lobbying government to rectify a number of inequities that confronted the Islands’ youth. Her zest for championing issues such as the need for a separate court for juveniles continued into her retirement, as did her lengthy service on the Adoption Board.

      And Mrs. Hylton’s exemplary commitment to young people extended to her private life; among other projects, she helped to develop the scouting movement in the Cayman Islands. Presenting her with a special award in 1972, the Nor’wester Magazine recognised her numerous contributions to young people.

      She received the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour in 1968 and was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) ten years later.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Well written, and insightful. I wish we all were this thoughtful




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  11. Anonymous says:

    People who can’t afford children financially or otherwise shouldn’t have them. Period.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Individual responsibility is missing in Cayman.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The government is a big problem with this too. Lets take home schooling, who is monitoring Home Schooling? Not the Educational Department. Where is the Ministry of Education. I am a mom who home schools my children because I cannot afford to send my children to private school, but I ensure they do activities but the scary part is I have been doing this for four years and NO ONE from the Education Department has come to check on my children or their status of how they are doing. That alone is frightening so who is monitoring Home Schooling? Another failure of Government. CNS maybe you should look into this and open up a subject on Cayman News Service.




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    • Anonymous says:

      There are just a lot of kids on this island that nobody wants enough to care for them. Start with a teenage, uneducated mom and no Dad work your way down.




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  13. Suzanne Harvey says:

    The reason we have the misery of drug usage is that we have drug dealers. Getting rid of the dealers is the first step in getting rid of drug usage. Why not start? It really would not be hard to do if our law enforcement and judicial system were interested in doing so.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Start with the pharmacies since they too contribute to the drug dilemma.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Huh? What does that mean, I cannot even get a refill on my birth control meds without a script.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Drig Dealers from a culture that “respects” drug dealers and music junkees instead of doctors, lawyers, teachers, ….getting rid of the dealers will not solve your problem.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You really think it’s that easy? Must be nice to see the world as simple as you do.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Getting rid of dealers only drives the price of drugs up. Get rid of the users and the dealers will starve. Problem about 20% of the population use in one way or the other.




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    • Anonymous says:

      And the easiest way to get rid of the drug dealers? Legalize ganja… most would be immediately out of business!




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  14. Mel says:

    Spot I too went to John Gray High School and had a similar experience as the writer. I can honestly admit that I have battled with my opinion on how individuals like Devon should be dealt with, i.e. they made their own choice so they should suffer the consequences. But the older I become the more mature I get, I realize that as a human being in general I have a responsibility to be compassionate. On paper I am “successful”, a good ole set 1 John Gray graduate, attended school overseas and living the “american dream”. I grew up facing some hard challenges as well but let me tell you, if it was for some the amazing adults, programmes like Youth to Youth, church etc. I would be a contentious, ungrateful hypocrit if I didnt understand that it was because I had some sort of amazing angels of people in my life…that made me NOT end up like Devon. We are losing the very essence of what it means to be Caymanian, and I am sick to my stomach. It hurts my heart. Im stern , I believe that you reap what you sow but I also care…and we need to be more proactive with at risk youth. We are too busy casting blame and just “doing us”, focusing on the wrong things. I agree with MM. I pray we all become better human beings.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    There is more we can do. Legalise abortion…..and…. go!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Gay marriage would also assist in minimising unwanted pregnancies.




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    • Unison says:

      Ehhhh … we are already outnumbered by expats. Alot of citizens will become lonely when they retire. More young people shying away from familial responsibilities. Don’t you think abortions will make matters worse? 🤔




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      • Anonymous says:

        Are you for real? No to abortions because you might be lonely when you retire? I can’t believe I just read that.




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        • Unison says:

          You don’t have to read it, you will see it happen … all them abortions, same-sex marriages, artificial contraceptions in the U.S. and Europe.

          Just watch and witness 😃




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          • Anonymous says:

            I think all of these things you have mentioned are great! Less people ruining our planet! Perfect!




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  16. Anonymous says:

    Everyone wants to look for an excuse to blame someone for some criminal activity, I.e. home life, wrong crowd, poverty, schooling, Government etc., etc., There are many, many poor families on this island as in every part of the world and indeed many worse off than Devon Anglin. Have they all murdered innocent people?? Are they all part of a drug cartel or committed armed robbery?……….certainly not!! It’s down to parenting from the day they were born. To be taught right from wrong. However, I do agree that children are easily influenced by the “wrong crowd” they want to prove themselves as “bad asses” to fit in. Do I think that Social Services and Child Protection team should have stepped in at an early stage?……most definitely!! Now it’s far too late, the damage has been done. There’s a lot more youngsters on this island already going down this road, and will without doubt, be dead or spend their young lives in Northward or worse, Belmarsh in the U.K.
    Me, and am sure every other law abiding citizen on this island should be asking Government “is this the way you want to see these islands going?” with armed robberies, burglaries, rapes, child abuse, murders, the list is endless. Granted, crime will never be fully eradicated, but certainly there can be programmes in place to educate these people, to learn right from wrong, have an incentive for getting up in the morning, to want to learn a trade in whatever career path they choose. Obviously, some people don’t want to work but where does that idea come from ask yourself……..the way they are brought up! There’s your answer.
    Child abuse is another major problem that’s been prevalent for years. People turning a blind eye to this. Pretending it’s not happening. These people should be damn well ashamed of themselves. Do they realise the untold damage both physically and mentally this has on a young mind? Why isn’t Government funding this very important project? Do too many high profile people have skeletons in their cupboard? It’s no good having departments like MASH in place with half a dozen personnel there that don’t know what they are doing. It’s not their fault, they just haven’t got the experienced leadership in place. Government, wake up, smell the coffee, get off your high horses and realise you don’t know it all and GET AN EXPERIENCED LEADER IN CHILD ABUSE from the UK to take this team forward. This doesn’t have to be a permanent position but DEFINITELY someone to be here a couple of weeks every 3 months to ensure their instruction is being implemented. This island is going down the pan in all areas and it’s a damn shame because a lot of it can be prevented. Once the tourist avoid this island due to the ever increasing crime, your financial status will start to diminish. You are not the only tax free haven in the world. Think on Cayman!! Your future and the future of your children is at stake.




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  17. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing this heartfelt insight into (some of) the ills of our community.

    I hope much good will come of doing so.

    – Who




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  18. Anonymous says:

    Who was responsible for the implementation of the Barbadian Criminologist’s Forde findings again?

    CNS: For anyone not familiar with the 2006 study by Yolande Forde, “Pre-Disposing Factors to Criminality in the Cayman Islands”, it is in the CNS Library here




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  19. Anonymous says:

    Waste of time. No sympathy from me.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Its simple if you don’t know right from wrong then we have a big problem. Drugs was a quick sell, working at fosters/kirks/hurleys for example bagging just is below them. So really? we can keep blaming everyone for their actions.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You are the problem.




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  20. Anonymous says:

    eliminate thug/ghetto culture from society…
    dress code into all bars/clubs/restaurants…..no chains, no caps, no shades, no baggy shorts




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    • Tried this before says:

      And women are to strictly wear hijabs and burqas, yada yada yada…




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes because the issues faced by youth worldwide are only faced by those that embrace black or
      Hip-hop culture. No other cultures are facing these issues at all. So while you are at it let’s get rid of the rap and dancehall music, as well as those tv and radio stations.. and once you’ve wasted your time doing all of that and you see that things have not gotten better then perhaps you’ll be able to put your prejudices down long enough to actually try to see the real issues and the real solutions




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      • Anonymous says:

        Well, if all they listened to was Laurence Whelk … they’d probably be comatose. – Joking aside there is a fair point that ‘popular culture’ is part of the problem. Not causative I agree, but reinforcing. (Don’t take away my violent video games, but I have to admit that they desensitize me to violence.)




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    • Anonymous says:

      You’re gonna need to ban a litany of tv shows/series and music streaming services as well. Easier said than done.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Who the hell still wears baggy pants/shorts? The ones that still do, you can guarantee that they have just come out of prison and been in there for quite some time.




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  21. Anonymous says:

    So true… we would rather discard people and say they got what they deserved instead of putting in place programs like big brothers or role models for these young men. All they know is what they see and if they see thugs in the street “successfully” providing for their family and community they are likely to follow. This is the sad truth.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The sad truth is you never go back one more step in your argument to focus on how fathers not stepping up where needed is the origin of the criminal behavour.




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  22. satirony says:

    Kurt Tibbetts might not remember this, but many, many elections ago, he held a political rally on Walkers Road when he gave the best speech I’ve ever heard in Cayman. He outlined all the societal problems Cayman was suffering from at the time, gangs, single-mother families and drugs, and warned that if these issues were not nipped in the bud, they would result in what we have now, a dysfunctional and destructive section of society that would cost us dearly. Needless to say, the next government failed to listen to Kurt, and so here we are. It’s like the Green Iguanas: do nothing to stop the problem in the first place, wait until it’s too late, then under-react.

    If a prisoner costs the taxpayer KYD $700,000 over 10 years, why not invest that money early on in the child’s life to steer them away from trouble, and help them become a productive member of society? A good investment, I would say.




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    • Reminder says:

      What about Dr Frank Mcfield? He too had a foresight and when was express he was castigated, it seems we have a memory shortage!!!!!!!




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    • Goodheart says:

      Kurt Tibbetts had many chances where he could have practised what he preached all talk no action. The only one I would stand up for is DR Frank when he identified these social issues problems he was csstigated. It is still not too late, a lot fell threw the cracks more coming so lets work with them for a more productive society.




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  23. Anonymous says:

    Very good viewpoint and a breath of fresh air in terms of positive contribution. The negative comments that followed are actually more a picture of the state of our ‘community’ than the description included in the viewpoint. What is also very telling is that now, while education department is doing its endeavor best to provide the environment that the write describes, including a policy on inclusion rather than expulsion, restorative work and counseling, additional resources to address learning deficiencies, too many in the community are screaming that we should just remove those students that fail to meet the mark of perfection we have established as the norms of the utopia we supposedly long for. If they have their way we will simply help support the creation of more Devon Anglin’s.

    It never fails to surprise me how people can be so ignorant to the fact that it’s not simply a matter of choice. A person’s upbringing and environment, education and opportunities, genealogy and psychology, spiritual strength or lack thereof, all interact to create a pattern of consideration. In other words it’s not simply about making a choice, it’s that we are each conditioned by various factors (parenting being the strongest) to follow the same thought patterns in making our choices. If someone has been conditioned to make bad choices, just telling them that they need to make better choices is truly ignorant. what happens next is that the person inevitably trains their children to follow the same thought pathways in making their choices. Hence, criminalistics parents will rear criminalistics children, abusers will have children that grow up to abuse. Not in every case, but more often than not this is the case. The author is right, if we want to actually have a community we have to do more to help those at risk to change the thought processes they use to make decisions.

    There are many techniques, organizations (including government), individuals etc in Cayman that are giving our time to work to this end….. instead of tearing up a viewpoint that is aimed at sparking understanding. Ultimately it comes down to one thing. If we want to be hateful or indifferent then things will get worse. If we want to actually love our fellow human beings then things will get better. Now there is a choice for the negative commenters. Or are your thought processes beyond salvaging? And if they are, then why did you hypocritically expect others to change theirs?!




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    • Anonymous says:

      So being a murderer is not a choice but being gay is?




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      • Anonymous says:

        First of all how about we stick to the topic. I said nothing about homosexuality in my post. However, since you raised it, what I said is that there are a congruence of factors that lead to a person using the same thought processes to make decisions and that they will tend to continue to make those same decisions the same way unless something changes. I did not say that being a murderer is not a choice, we all have choice. But we have to learn to make choices the right way, using the right tools, perspectives, etc. there is no question that when this does not happen we continue to view the world the same way and again MAKE THE SAME CHOICES. If you want to apply that to homosexuality you can feel free.




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  24. Anonymous says:

    Just want to say that this was a very well written article that tackles a topic often pushed under the rug! Well done!




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  25. Anonymous says:

    The culture that you celebrate is your own worst enemy, stop ruining every neighborhood with your stupid loud music as a start, but you will not even stop your stupid friends from doing that small thing, so nobody cares anymore, you reap what you sow, period.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You are showing something right now. I hope you are ready for the reaping as well when that time comes!




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      • Anonymous says:

        A public threatening, a dark warning, or just a pathetic attempt to shut down the conversation.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Rule #1 for hacking, if you know you are being hacked, never let them suspect you are aware. its a dish best served cold.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, we should only care as much as a person wants to change, beyond that and you are probably being manipulated by a sociapath. If they dont care, I dont care that they spend the rest of their life in prison or get shot by their gangsta amigos. Once we have established that when you are in prison, you dont get to change and act like you care, then we will see alot more people caring and thinking twice about committing crime. The current way is to coddle and try to convert after the deed which is why we have the problems that persist today.




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    • Anonymous says:

      ….and the downvoters are why your culture is doomed to the history books while everybody else continues to enjoy the fruits of their hard-work in a culture of polite, considerate and profesional beahviour that holds up peace of mind.




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  26. Anonymous says:

    Good articulate writing. You have to question why Cayman lets its own spiral into decay, when technically speaking the fund are there to nip this in the bud at an early age and assist those families in a proper way. I have seen some of the houses, some of the people and I know I could not live like that. The whole community, but especially government has a duty to step in. First job-most people seem to know who the dealers are, they need to be arrested, prosecuted and the state needs to step in and replace the funds flow, and educate these people (at least those that can be educated) on how to avoid prison and obtain working positions.

    I cannot help but wonder why this does not happen- can it be as some suggest, that there is collusion at the highest levels with these gangs? They need the poverty to create the willing foot soldiers?




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  27. Anonymous says:

    “So you sell marijuana, do you know it’s illegal?” Um, really???? Pretty sure sellers of marijuana KNOW it is illegal. Doesn’t take school learning to be aware of that.




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  28. Anonymous says:

    Touching….but do know that this happens everywhere. All over the world, parents fail, systems fail, schools fail etc. But at the end of the day, he made his choices. Nobody forced him into the thug life. He chose it and is now paying for it. Now lets talk about birth control…




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    • Anonymous says:

      Your comments reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the effects a broken, hopeless childhood has on people like the young man in this story. Have a heart and appreciate not everyone is born into your kind of privilege. This is a sad story that will continue evolving until we all have to put bars on our windows and doors if not dealt with. Don’t be complicit in that, have a heart.




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    • Anonymous says:

      @4:17 pm disagree. There is always time when proper intervention would have helped




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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes that is quite possible. But I also have to ask the writer since Devon was one of his “best” friends, what did he do to help the kid? As a best friend, was there any intervention from him? This is very sad, and yes we are all humans who make mistakes, but murder? Taking a life? That’s next level.




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  29. Anonymous says:

    The writer here is absolutely correct…unfortunately!




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  30. Anonymous says:

    An eye opener. Thank you!

    There is National Youth Policy, 2011, I suggest everyone reads it in entirety and comments.
    Sounds like insult to injury.

    “.. Our objective has always been to ensure that the Cayman Islands is a place we are proud to call home, and which we can confidently entrust to the next generation.”
    “..The challenges, concerns and aspirations of young people are well-articulated and well documented. It is time for us and them to tackle these issues with renewed vigour. ”
    “….Young people are our future…”

    http://www.caribbeanelections.com/eDocs/strategy/ky_strategy/ky_National_Youth_Policy_2011.pdf




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    • Anonymous says:

      Did that come from a PPM manifesto or a $100,000.00 consultancy report? Both ineffective since no plan has ever been put in place. We love paper, not people.




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  31. Anonymous says:

    Funny, I was at high school with Devon too but I don’t remember him being that bright or getting along with students. Are you sure you have the right guy?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Focus on the entire post.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I did but it is heavily influenced by the first part where he is a very bright terrific guy. I am entitled to say that it NOT how I remember him so the rest of the comment from MM may lack validity for some of us who knew him. Focus on focus on our comments.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know Devon but I do know another criminal named Raziel Jeffers, also in prison now for murder. Raziel was actually pretty smart in high school, popular with girls and seemingly, didn’t have a hard home life. We all know how he turned out. We can’t always blame our circumstances growing up on why we chose to do the wrong things. I do agree with many points the writer made though.




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  32. Anonymous says:

    I cannot speak about Devon Anglin, but I can say that some things very like that paragraph beginning “so you sell marijuana” were indeed said by us teachers many times to many many of our future Northward prisoners over the last 30 plus years. With very few exceptions we were treated with contempt and ignored. It isn’t as easy as MM makes it sound but the comment is nonetheless a good one.




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  33. Vez says:

    It’s just so sad to read about this boy missing his chance. I hold all who knew him accountable when he was a child especially his school but also those who as the writer says should have stepped up to help a good kid. What a waste.
    Cayman has advantages from the private sector to sponsor our youth for all sorts of academics or music.
    But what if your not academic or musical. Then what.
    Nothing very much to encourage and help the kids of Cayman see a safer and better future no matter what you background is.




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    • Anonymous says:

      “Especially his school”???? Say whaaat??? The school?? You ignorant twat. What about the man and woman who brought him into this world and the family members around as he grew from a baby WELL before he even entered a school. One of the huge problems in Cayman is the absolute refusal to accept its the fault of the man and woman shagging that produces these kids that they don’t really want but get because they don’t have sex responsibly.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Especially when their government turns a blind eye to them. Shameful. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.




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  34. Anonymous says:

    Excellent commentart & observations. I would be even better to hear you thoughts on possible solutions to stop these events from even starting.




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  35. Anonymous says:

    Wish I could love this. Spot on. We label them and then discard them, no matter the potential. Maybe, just maybe we will wake up before it is too late. This also speaks to the comments made by Kenneth Bryan in regards to the childrens’ homes on island. Regardless of their situation they are being housed like criminals and it makes sense that if you treat somebody a certain way long enough they will start acting like it.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you on children being housed like criminals,
      but wait, read below.
      “The National Youth Policy (2011) was informed by careful research on the changing needs of youth in our current social and economic situation, as well as an in-depth analysis of relevant studies conducted over the last decade.”

      They spent a decade studying and analyzing, they have guidlines, goals and objectives set…….. National Youth Policy (2011) will make a difference to the individual and collective lives of our younger residents. That was 6 years ago!

      I will repeat what is says: “National Youth Policy (2011) will make a difference to the individual and collective lives of our younger residents.”
      Is it?




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      • Anonymous says:

        This was the “hallmark” achievement of a certain minister of education. Those who take on responsibility for our children and then abandon them have a lot to account for. If not in this life,in the next.




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  36. Happy420 says:

    The writer here knows exactly what she is saying. I personally know each of these young men




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