Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, has commented on a video circulated on social media recently of teenage students in St. Vincent and the Grenadines having sex.
In the video, a girl, said to be between 14 and 15, has sex with multiple males while dressed in her school uniform.
Other persons in the video, some of whom are not in school, according to reports, comment on and encourage the sex acts.
Responding to a question at his annual town hall meeting in New York on Saturday, Gonsalves disagreed with a comment from the floor that the students should be expelled from school and arrested.
“… I will urge a different approach,” he said.
“I will urge that this young lady or all the young persons involved be counseled. Also the parents. and the teachers be asked as to whether they had detected any of this happening, and if they did, what did they do or not do.”
Gonsalves said that the Ministries of Education and Social Development are involved in the counseling of the young people.
“We have to be careful that we are sensitive, without condoning what happens. A 14-year-old girl or a 15-year-old girl who may involve in an activity of this kind, we really have to be careful not to condemn her for life, and, therefore, provide all the support resources.
“In fact, I have spoken with people in the Ministry of Education about the education of those involved who are not at school to see if arrangements can be made while counseling is taking place for some education to continue at home, by teachers going and teaching them and so forth.
“It’s possible to work out all these things, practical, and that is being worked on and that is the approach which is being taken,” Gonsalves said.
The conversation among the persons in the video suggests that it was made using a cell phone.
“Fundamentally, what you have is that you have this technology and a lot of young kids don’t know how to handle this particular technology. In fact, there are adults who don’t know who to handle this technology. So I think this is a wider issue, which has to be discussed, and sensible conclusions arrived at for policy actions,” Gonsalves said.