Kids with Guns ... Children's career day attire no worries to authorities

May 28, 2016
Dr Patrece Charles
A soldier to the teeth, this youngstershowed up at his shool's career day attired in military combat gear.

Dr Patrece Charles, executive director of the National Parenting Support Com-mission, has refused to join the bashing of parents who attire their children in questionable career day outfits.

Charles, in an interview with THE STAR, was asked to comment on the fact that some children have been dressed for career days in police and military fatigue, which are adorned with toy guns.

"Career day for children, especially under the age of five, must be age appropriate, and so the way you dress them ought to be age appropriate," Charles said.

"Perhaps a child at that young age will not have the understanding or respect for carrying around a toy gun to go with the outfit. So perhaps that's not the best thing to do. Parents need to have a conversation to explain the career," she said.

Recently, photos of the tiny tots clad in their uniforms to represent their careers of choice made the rounds on social media, generating much amusement. But not everyone was intrigued by the display as some bashed the children's parents for taking career day a bit too far.

nothing wrong

"The glamorisation of badness and guns has been to Jamaica's detriment. Play guns should be banned," one person said.

Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison told THE STAR that she does not support toy guns generally, but the context in which they were used in a career day situation seems appropriate.

"If it's career day and they are depicting law enforcement officers, they want to be as real as possible so they would have the accompanying paraphernalia. I see nothing wrong with that," Gordon Harrison said.

She, however, said that parents should properly educate their children about the use and dangers of a gun.

Everton Hannan, president of the National Parent-Teacher Association, said too that he sees nothing wrong with toy guns in the career day context.

"It really comes down to how parents and teachers educate the child on the use and significance of the toy guns. They can't just put it on them and leave it. They should explain all the elements of the uniform to them," Hannan said.

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