See the forest, not the trees

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About two weeks ago a couple, 17-year-old Dion Roberts and 21-years-old Divonne Thomas, were shot while they slept in a bed.

Roberts was shot in the hand and Thomas was shot in both of her legs.

The Observer did a front-page story on the incident, which included a photo of Thomas, which apparently was not liked by Thomas’ mother.

“The photo was of her dancing at a party,” the mother said. “This was a serious matter and such a photo made it seem like the whole thing was a joke.

“That picture made it seem like she was one of those people who is always up and down the place,” Idetha Thomas said.

She said her daughter was recovering from her injuries in the hospital.

By placing that picture on the front page, The Observer did not intend for the incident to be taken as a laughing matter. And, for that fact we sincerely apologize.

When the shooting incident took place The Observer received a number of calls about the incident. As a newspaper, our role is to ensure that our readers get as much information on the matter as possible. Our readers wanted to know who got shot and the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

With the crime rate rising in our Federation, our concern is not so much what kind of photograph we put on the front page, but the causes and remedies of these violent incidents.

We are concerned that too many of our youths place very little value on their own life and the lives of others. If Thomas was sleeping turned in the opposite direction on the bed, she would have received those bullets to her chest or even to her head, instead of in her legs.

Our concern is that a person or persons attempted to kill Thomas and her 17-year-old boyfriend. We wonder if those people would try again, and we are now looking into why anyone would want the couple dead. This is where our attention should be focused, not on a photograph.

Such violent crimes need to stop.

According to Valentine Hodge, Arch Deacon of the St. Georges’ Anglican Church,

more than 90 percent of the inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison under the age of 30, came from broken homes.

Recently The Observer talked to a mother, whose son was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for assault. The mother said she was a Christian and that she did not understand why her son behaved the way he did.

Clearly the mother was proud of her faith and held her head high that she could not be faulted for her son having to spend 10 years in jail.

To all the Christian mothers out there, who go to church every Sunday, read the bible every night before going to bed and at times even preach on the pulpit: How would you feel to be in heaven while your children are burning in hell?

Parents cannot afford to turn a blind eye anymore. We need to take back our children from the darkness, and bring them up in the light.

The excuses need to stop.

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