PHILIPSBURG–National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) Angelique Romou said on Monday, April 12, that she had been approached about a statement made on social media concerning an incident of indecent behaviour of minors at Caribbean Cinemas last weekend.
Romou, being shocked by the news, contacted the author of the social media post to get clarification. This prompted Romou to later meet with management of Caribbean Cinemas to discuss the incident and she subsequently spoke to the police to discuss how they could work together to curtail the behaviour of some minor children attending the movies.
Caribbean Cinemas management indicated that many under-age children were being dropped off at the location without any sort of supervision and at times their behaviour was indeed unacceptable. Some of the incidents recalled by management are of a grave concern, as this type of behaviour has serious consequences for youngsters’ well-being.
“The issue of large crowds of minor children loitering on the movies’ premises with some engaging in inappropriate acts was also discussed.” The Police Force of St. Maarten has indicated that it will be cooperating to make sure that these incidents are less likely to occur by patrolling the area more frequently, especially on the weekends as this is the peak time for the movies.
“There was a consensus that parents had to become more aware of their children’s whereabouts and also take their parenting responsibilities seriously and make sure that their minor children be accompanied by an adult to avoid inappropriate incidents such as these.”
Romou said she is very concerned about the manner in which some minors, especially 12- to 14-year-old age group, were seen conducting themselves. She is making a plea to all parents to be more vigilant and involved in their children’s lives.
Parents need to continue to instil proper principles and morals in their children so that they can make wise decisions even when under peer pressure. “I want to also publicly state that this not an attack on our youth. I want to even go further and commend our young persons that go the movies and enjoy responsibly.
“However, as a mother, Member of Parliament and someone who really cares about our young people, I feel it is my duty to also address negative behaviour that can have a major impact on the lives of our youth,” she said. “Some of the incidents shared by movie management really gave me a sense of urgency to make this public plea.
“I was also a teenager once and I know that teenagers want freedom, but with freedom come a lot of responsibilities and the consequences of such freedom can be unbearable for some. It is also the task of all parents and guardians to educate, encourage proper behaviour, and to ensure that their children have respect for themselves and their community,” Romou said.