Respect and discipline must start at home

After contemplating the last few weeks of violence, particularly violence perpetrated by children while they are at school, I have given deep thought about the root causes of these bloody acts.

After contemplating the last few weeks of violence, particularly violence perpetrated by children while they are at school, I have given deep thought about the root causes of these bloody acts.

Like so many people, I too have uttered the same empty platitudes about drugs and poverty being at the root of crime. And like so may, I have added my criticism of the police and the lack of resources and the will to enforce the law.

Though there is a lack of law enforcement and will, there is a fundamental lack of discipline that should begin at home.

Many parents are only too eager to make responsibility for their children someone else's problem. When the children are at school, they are the school's problem. When they are at the movies, they are the mall's problem, and at a nightclub - who let the child in? "Not me" would be the answer, even though that very parent most likely dropped the child off at the door of the venue.

We should ask ourselves, where does discipline and respect for the law and other people begin? It has to start at home. And those attitudes should then trickle down to every other area of society.

It is only in this manner that we will begin to regenerate our moral underpinnings and that we encourage ownership of the traditions of our country and the will to respect and enforce the law.

John Moodey, Johannesburg

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