Chief Magistrate a stickler for use of proper English

Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes is not impressed by parents who give their children choices from young and who do not insist they practise speaking standard English.

He was addressing the mother of 18-year-old Tristan Kareem Joseph, of Block 2F Country Park High Rise Towers, Country Road, St Michael yesterday. During the three attempts her son made to tell the court about the events which took place last Friday and which resulted in him being charged with assault, Joseph was floundering.

“That is why you go to school to do a presentation and only girls ask questions at the end. That is the reason why athletes can’t do a proper interview after winning a medal at CARIFTA; because none of this is being practised where they live. You all allow them to speak Bajan. It is a whole set of poor parenting going on in this place and it’s a Caribbean problem,” Weekes stressed.

“Children are being given choices at age five and six. They must be listened to – I agree with that; but you all are not engaging in discussion with your children. All of these abbreviations on social media mean they do not understand standard English. I believe the family mash-up in this country – that is why we have all this crime and violence.”

Referring to his own circumstances, Weekes said he had to speak standard English in his home and can therefore switch from that to Barbadian dialect at will, because of his foundation.

Raising the notion that some parents seem more caught up with themselves than with raising their children well, the judicial officer added: “I am seeing women with 3 000 tattoos and letting other subcultures take over our culture. Some Bajan women want to look like Paris Hilton or Ariana Grande.”

“Strong good women have always built strong families in this country,” he added. “Children may have a problem, so you need to listen to them, but you have to put rules in place from the time they are five or six. Parents shouldn’t be asking children if they want to do something. They don’t pay the Internet bill, they don’t pay the light bill, they don’t pay any bills – that is why they have to do chores.”

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