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Youth Respond to Minister Stuart Johnson’s dismissive casino comments

Typical response by Minister JohnsonToday after we highlighted the fact that a casino will be established/moving close to the Sundial school in town, something we clearly do not need in that area, the Minister of TEATT thought it a good idea to go on radio and lecture Teen Times about being…Teen Times. In the Minister’s opinion, our group should focus on “youth issues” and not be “manipulated” into playing politics (para-phrasing). The Minister obviously does not know to whom he is speaking.If you know our history, 23 years of advocacy, you know Teen Times has never, ever shied away from addressing any and all issues because we believe any and all issues are YOUTH issues. In fact we address issues in ways that the mainstream media are afraid to. Decisions you make today, affect our youth tomorrow. In fact the poor decisions made by the Minister and the like, is exactly why St. Maarten is in the state it is in today. Please do not insult our young people by telling them they cannot and should not have a voice in such matters.If the Minister sees the issue of the Casino as a political one, then that says more about the Minister than it does about Teen Times. Where he sees politics, we see poor decisions that should be addressed and protested against. If the Minister, a former educator, prefers to elevate politics over what is clearly a poor choice ethically and morally, then it’s just another example of why people, especially young people, have lost total confidence in their representatives.One thing is clear – young people are deciding that their voice matters, and this country better start to listen or at least grow up. All over the world any significant change in any country is led by that country’s youth. When you dismiss your youth or voices that represent your youth, you do so at your own peril. Tackling society’s most complex issues is not age specific. Forward thinking communities understand this. Myopic and shallow representatives do not.Any of our members, junior writers, senior writers, coordinators, all of us will express ourselves through writing. We cannot and will not be dismissed as insignificant. This is our country to inherit. If you and yours are performing poorly, trust that we will tell you and inform our readers over and over again.Please understand that Teen Times will not be intimidated or manipulated by anyone. Ever. Stay woke St. Maarten!Rochelayne “Roosje” Rommy-Richardson
Coordinator – Teen Times

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