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Wednesday 16 October 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Make teachers read Jacob’s book, eulogy

THE EDITOR: The article in your Sunday Newsday headed “Dearest Jahmai,” which is the eulogy for 26-year-old Jahmai Donaldson, who was murdered on January 10 in Pleasantville, is beautiful and inspirational. Columnist Debbie Jacob wrote and delivered the eulogy at Jahmai’s recent funeral.

Jacob taught Jahmai English while he was serving his time at YTC, and quotations from some of the pieces he wrote are remarkable. She made a tremendous impact on his life. Jahmai’s thoughts expressed in the written word, along with those of other YTC students, were published in the book Wishing for Wings written by Jacob, inspired by the group of teenaged boys at YTC who she says changed her life in unimaginable ways.

As a retired teacher, I would like to suggest that book, along with a copy of this eulogy, be made required reading for every teacher who teaches teenagers in today’s turbulent TT.

You see, no child or young person is beyond redemption. No student should be written off. The situation of violence in our society is partly due to just that.

Jacob in her eulogy quotes from what Jahmai once wrote:

“You can get through any situation ... once you are surrounded by people willing to share the pain with you so the burden would not seem too unbearable.”

Please, let us do all that we can as a society to save our young people, especially our young men, from violence and crime.

The schools through the Ministry of Education should provide professional counselling for those who are deeply troubled, and our teachers all need to take the example of Debbie Jacob.

HILMA BARNES via e-mail

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