Minister of Justice Engages in Interactive Discussion with Students | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (SOUTH REWARD) - The Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson, recently visited St. Dominic High School at the invitation of the school administration. The purpose of the visit was to engage in an enlightening discussion with pupils of the 3rd form on a range of important topics.

Minister Richardson's visit proved to be an inspiring and educational experience for both the students and the Minister herself. During the interactive session, Minister Richardson delved into meaningful conversations with the students, addressing key themes such as perseverance, standing up against peer pressure, making thoughtful choices, and the significance of demonstrating good behavior, including respect for both adults and peers.

A central focus of the dialogue was the recent jouvert jump-up. Minister Richardson acknowledged the concerns raised by the Sint Maarten Police Department (KPSM) regarding the alarming number of youth who were observed to be under the influence of substances during the event. This led to a thought-provoking exchange wherein Minister Richardson invited the students to share their insights on the reasons behind the increasing prevalence of drug and alcohol use, as well as risky behaviors such as early sexual activity.

In response to these challenges, Minister Richardson shared valuable information about the ongoing efforts of the Ministry of Justice. She revealed that the Ministry is actively working on the development of an event policy aimed at ensuring well-structured and safe events within the community. This policy seeks to incorporate safety measures from the initial application phase and will include provisions to prevent underage youth from participating in events with adult themes, as mandated by existing laws.

Recognizing the importance of youth perspectives in shaping a safer environment, Minister Richardson presented the students with an engaging assignment. She challenged them to collaboratively prepare a presentation outlining suggestions for fostering a secure and supportive atmosphere for the youth of Sint Maarten. The goal is to counter the pressures and temptations that may lead to detrimental choices, both immediately and in the future. The Minister has granted the students a three-month timeline to craft their presentation.

Minister Richardson expressed her enthusiasm to return in three months' time to witness the creative solutions the students propose to address the challenges faced by their peers. By actively involving the young generation in the formulation of strategies, the Ministry of Justice aims to curb unhealthy teen phenomena and promote positive choices among Sint Maarten's youth.

"I extend my heartfelt appreciation to Teacher Susan Meijnaar and Principal Esmeralda Sutton for extending the gracious invitation that allowed me to engage with the students on this remarkable platform. The experience was nothing short of inspiring, and I am genuinely excited about the prospect of returning within a few short months. The enthusiasm of the students was infectious, and I am eager to continue our meaningful interactions." - Minister Richardson.