Reflection of society The massive and intense media attention schoolboy football has garnered recently has highlighted many aspiring young, talented players and has turned many into overnight stars. However, these regularly televised schoolboy football matches have highlighted another fact: that the phenomenon of bleaching has engulfed our secondary institutions and their sports figures. Its popularity with young people, especially those involved in sports, is a growing sensation, and The Gleaner sought the insight of a few high school principals on how widespread the phenomenon is in their schools among student athletes. Holy Trinity and Cornwall College’s principals, Margaret Brissett-Bolt and Dr Lennox Rowe, respectively, as well as Wolmer’s vice-principal, Osagdoro Asayimwese, all declared a no-tolerance stance on bleaching and that student-athletes found bleaching were not allowed to represent these schools. All three principals admitted that the phenomenon had infested their schools and they had to find ways to discourage it. “My sportsmen and women wouldn’t even think of it. They wouldn’t be selected for rugby, football, netball – none. That is definitely a no-no, ” Brissett-Bolt insisted. Cornwall College’s Rowe held a similar position. “My view is zero tolerance. We do not support it. We do not condone any type of chemical to alter the skin,” he said. “We had students (bleaching) on various teams, and I outlined my stance that if they do it, they are not going to represent the school.” Wolmer’s Asayimwese said they, too, have implemented rules to discourage the behaviour. “At the start of the school year, the principal dictated to and informed the school community that there would be no tolerance for bleaching and where boys were found bleaching, steps were taken to have them have it corrected,” he said. The consensus is that it’s a reflection of the society and students are influenced into the bad habits by their immediate surrounding. But it is said to be generally practised by weaker academic students. Brissett-Bolt believes that the schools can only do so much. “First we had the girls doing it, then the boys. I have seen improvement, but during the holidays, they will bleach again and try to fix it before they come to school,” she said. Brissett-Bolt insists that the phenomenon is not irreversible but that it is now fully engraved on the minds of our young people. And although the authorities are doing everything to keep it out of the schools, it’s not an easy challenge because of its acceptance in the general society.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week In Pico Rivera, which experienced a spat of gang-related shootings earlier this year, there were six murders in 2004 and seven murders in 2003. The FBI statistics also show that other violent crimes in Pico Rivera increased slightly –from 385 in 2003 to 390 last year. Robberies jumped from 82 to 119, forcible rapes increased from 10 to 19 and property crimes increased from 1,402 in 2003 to 1,755 last year. Burglaries were also up — from 249 in 2003 to 353 in 2004. Car thefts were up from 734 in 2003 to 942 last year. Aggravated assaults in Pico Rivera dropped from 286 in 2003 to 246 in 2004, the FBI numbers show. Lt. Mike Rothans of the Sheriff’s Department’s Pico Rivera Station, said, while the numbers are “alarming,” they do not reflect strides made this year in combating violent crimes and thefts. “Can we focus on this year? Since January, there’s been a 3-percent decrease in violent crimes and a 6.6 decrease in property crimes,” he said, adding that this year the station has increased patrols and has implemented a Problem Specific Police Team to focus on certain problems and areas in the city. “Beginning this year, we targeted that rise in burglaries we (experienced) and they’ve decreased 25 percent,” he said. In Whittier, other than the rise in murders from 2003 to 2004, burglaries increased — from 339 in 2003 to 453 last year — and auto thefts also went up. The number of rapes stayed the same — 16 in 2003 and the same number last year. However, aggravated assaults decreased from 187 in 2003 to 173 in 2004. Whittier Police Department spokesman Officer Alan dela Pena, however, said his department has seen a decrease in crime in the past nine months of this year. “We’ve seen a reduction in the number of calls for service and crimes have dropped significantly,” he said. A new program, the Public Service Area Police program initiated about 18 months ago, is making it easier for citizens to report crime or suspicious activities in their neighborhoods. “People now know who to report (crimes) to. We’ve assigned a lieutenant to each of four different areas, and that lieutenant can feed the information (from callers) directly to his troops,” dela Pena said. Overall in the nation, the number of violent crimes, which also include aggravated assaults and robberies, fell by 1.2 percent last year. Property crimes — burglaries, larceny/theft and car theft — dropped 1.1 percent in 2004, compared to 2003. The number of rapes, however, has increased in three of the past four years, according to the FBI’s data for the nation. In all, rapes increased by .8 percent to 94,635 rapes, or about 750 more than in 2003. Despite the historical trend, the FBI included a “crime clock” in its report that shows a violent crime is committed every 23.1 seconds. A murder occurs roughly every half-hour, according to the clock.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From staff and wire reports Murders across the United States fell for the first time in five years last year, but the murder rate was actually up in Whittier from 2003, according to FBI statistics released Monday. There were 16,137 murders in the United States in 2004, the last full year for which statistics are available. That was about 350 fewer than in 2003, according to the FBI data. The decrease is the first since 1999, although smaller than what the FBI reported in June. Chicago was largely responsible for the drop, recording 150 fewer murders in 2004 than in 2003. But in Whittier, there were five murders recorded in 2004, compared to just one in 2003, the FBI numbers showed.