June 23 St. John's Antigua: Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has called
on the nation to find a place in their hearts for concern and compassion for the four pregnant students of a secondary school
who are the centre of public debate.
Speaking on Wednesday at the dedication ceremony for Rotary House, the new home of the Rotary
Club of Antigua, Prime Minister Spencer in making reference to the Rotary Junior Achievement Programme providing training
and the promise of opportunity for young people as they advance in the world of work; said that whatever we think our religious
values and our sense of morality dictate, we ought to find within our hearts a place for concern and compassion for those
four girls of the secondary school in St. John’s who have revealed that they are expecting mothers, were allowed to
sit their CXC Examinations but have been barred by the school from taking part in the graduation ceremony.
The public’s response to the issue has been divided with some condemning the school for taking
such drastic actions while other support the move.
Prime Minister Spencer said that the worst response to the situation is to stigmatise and
reject the girls concerned.
“You do not have to be in possession of any specific knowledge in order to understand that
when girls who are still children find themselves “with child,” what they need most is the understanding and support
of their elders,” the country’s leader said.
Prime Minister Spencer who is the father of a teenage daughter noted that the public should not
harden their hearts against the errant child mothers to be but use the opportunity to prevent recurrences.
“As elders, whether we be family, friends or teachers, we need to attempt to connect with
girls who stray, if only to help them in, some way, to avoid repeating the mistakes that will forever be with them. Many
of these early mistakes have grown into great achievers, credits to their mothers, and assets to their societies,” the
Prime Minister stated.
Calling on the Rotary Club to make an intervention, Prime Minister Spencer called on the nation
to never forget the scriptural promise that “though their sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow.”