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'We have failed you & we are sorry'– Claude O. Skelton-Cline to young VI males

Commentator and preacher Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has made a public apology to all the young men of the Virgin Islands for failing them. Photo: Facebook
The apology from Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline (centre) came on the heels of two young Virgin Islanders, 24 year old Clevaughn Sweeney and 26 year old Michael Stevens, were killed in an execution style shooting on the main island of Tortola around 4:00 A.M. on February 10, 2018. Photo: Facebook
The apology from Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline (centre) came on the heels of two young Virgin Islanders, 24 year old Clevaughn Sweeney and 26 year old Michael Stevens, were killed in an execution style shooting on the main island of Tortola around 4:00 A.M. on February 10, 2018. Photo: Facebook
DUFF’S BOTTOM, Tortola, VI- One day after the fatal shooting of two young men in Road Town, on the main island of Tortola, Commentator and preacher Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline made a public apology to all the young men at Sunday service at the New Life Baptist Church, for failing them.

That section of the service, Sunday February 11, 2018, at the New Life Baptist Church was shared publicly on Facebook on the Honestly Speaking with Claude Skelton Cline page.

The apology came a day after two young Virgin Islanders, 24 year old Clevaughn Sweeney and 26 year old Michael Stevens, were killed in an execution style shooting on the main island of Tortola around 4:00 A.M. on February 10, 2018.

Mr Skelton-Cline, while addressing the young men present at his church, said: “This morning is not just about you coming to the altar. It's about us making a commitment not to fail you but to provide you with every advantage we possibly can, to fruitfully and successfully navigate your way through this thing we call life,” he told the youngsters.

Many persons have been calling on all stakeholders to address the issues affecting the youth of the territory. Government, churches, schools, youth groups and other non-governmental organisations all need to play their part in order to better cater to the youth.

There is no doubt that disorderly behaviour among young people have escalated. There have been incidents of public brawls, disturbances at businesses, shoplifting, lewd and vulgar behaviour and inappropriate use of scooters, just to name a few.

'Be more responsible for youth'- CoP

While a guest on Honestly Speaking, aired on ZBVI 780 AM, Tuesday November 28, 2017, Police Commissioner, Michael B. Matthews had asked parents and adults to be more responsible for their youth, especially as it relates to scooter use. At a press conference held at the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force’s temporary headquarters, on January 29, 2018, he further explained that the biggest culprits of breaking the laws with motor scooters are the youth.

Prior to that, Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn (AL) said the school children were “wreaking havoc” in Road Town after school. Their behaviour was so bad that in December 2017 the Tortola Pier Park made a decision to ban all patrons aged 17 and under, unless accompanied by a parent or supervising adult who is at least 21 years old.

Better must be done

The public consensus is that the system has failed many of our young people and something must be done to stem the tide of them being lost to us. Prayers and programmes offered by the church are a start and everyone is invited to come on board.  

Mr Skelton-cline ended his appeal to the young men with the apology, “I just want you to know that we are sorry and we want you to forgive us. We are not perfect but we can do better than we’ve been doing and we are committed to doing better than we’ve been doing.”

20 Responses to “'We have failed you & we are sorry'– Claude O. Skelton-Cline to young VI males”

  • Corrupt (14/02/2018, 17:14) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    CORRUPT leaders , corrupt country . period
  • u right (14/02/2018, 17:21) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Damm!! Right. Failed the whole island
  • Yes u did (14/02/2018, 17:25) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    U failed the whole island
  • mary j (14/02/2018, 17:30) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Speak truth to power claude
  • LOL (14/02/2018, 17:39) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    • grace (15/02/2018, 14:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @LOL...he is speaking about both parties who only thought about themselves for many years which also affected these children parents. It's called the trickil down effect.
  • resident (14/02/2018, 17:53) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    Young people must learn that nobody owes them. Some of them need to take responsibility for their own actions. If you are given an opportunity for free education stop cutting class. Sir your *** down in the class pay attention instead if acting the fool get an education instead if going in the corner and smoking weed. Your mother catching hell to put food on the table try to uplift yourself so your life is better. Put your priority straight. Stop following bad company. Everyday they hear good advice but do they listen? No well your parents say you make your bed well lie in it. They want things to be handed to them on a silver platter. Work all over the place but they sitting on the corner all day. Get up and get!!!!
    • Hmm (14/02/2018, 19:53) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      While I wholly agree with you, who send these people to get children? We have failed our young people by not dividing them with stable families which is the basis for a stable life and community. A lot of young people are really just trying figure out how to exist because they have a lot of pain in them and they don’t know how to express it. Any time they cry about something that is really a problem to be concern about someone is there telling them to get over it or just pray to God or stop being ungrateful. At the end of the day, these people at least deserves an explanation as to why their life is needlessly difficult and no one wants to give it to them.
  • wize up (14/02/2018, 18:09) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Partner just wake up? Man we been having killings from back in the early 90s in our country..
    the talk-shop should stop because what going on in this place is no joke and standing up in a public forum not working::::you need to gather those young people who are willing sit and conversat; listen to them first hear what they are speaking about
  • Boo (14/02/2018, 20:34) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    So this guy now searching for relevance when he was paid a bucket of money to do this under VIP? #neverforgetdetroit #neverforgetpierpark
    • wize up (14/02/2018, 22:17) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ Boo: the bucket of money was given to him by the same guest of the show: this little country is full will hypocrites: have great things to say about you until you fall out: cline had such great things say about dr smith; his contact did not get renewed and suddenly dr smith is all kind of things.....during the last election while on the political platform they all raised fraser’s
      hand as soon as the election was over; a set of hypothetical behaviour began: politics
      • Back Benchers (15/02/2018, 06:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Back Benchers can't go blameless. They are more powerful than the government. They can change things with just a meeting of unity and purpose.. If they are not happy and want to chance the countries direction.. The law, the constitution give them that authority, one of the remaining countries in the world that still enjoy this standard of democracy.. Use it. Or one day I can assure u that u all will regret.. Serious. Crossing over is not new. It has changed government here in the past. Mark was a VIP. He made a good decision to cross over. A good decision that was. He had courage and vision.
    • Mega Respect 4 the Pastor (15/02/2018, 07:25) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      The Negative voices are often louder and more in Numbers. I have mega respect for You Mr. Clyne. Your courage second to none. Keep it up. Keep speaking your conscience. Don't allow the negativity to silent you. If not you speaking up. Speaking out. Then who?, A Bible quote.. "He came onto his own and his own redicule and rejected him". Good are very few in numbers but never lose..
  • home grown (14/02/2018, 20:40) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I always it starts at home.When a parent pass their youth as they say on the block anf don"t bat s brow,what message does that send
  • Just Woke (15/02/2018, 06:48) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why the apology. These young people have to be responsible for what they do. They know right from wrong. Its a choice. I grew up poor but I was determined to be someone to make my mom proud. I stayed out of trouble. I do evening / night lessons.. I'm sure the parent are talking. Its up to the youths to want to be somebody. To want to be successful..
    • Concerned Manager (16/02/2018, 18:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      We assume these children know right from wrong...just this week I dealt with a situation that seemed like a basic case of morals and low and behold the young man thought he was doing a good thing. I was so confused...the week is over and I'm still confused but now I'm also frightened that our young men are so messed up they don't know the difference between right and wrong.
  • Truth (15/02/2018, 07:20) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    I blame the NDP they are bad news and lawless
  • Young Black Male (15/02/2018, 14:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well Mr. Cline, we accept your apology but do you think you can get some negligent black men to make an apology for what they have done to some black women though? The black woman is most important to the BLACK family. NOBODY CARES MORE ABOUT THE BLACK MAN MORE THAN THE BLACK WOMAN and all some of them is disrespect and disregard them, I'm a young black male that from young I had no interest in gang activities because I grew up in a single home and my mindset was stuck on how to take care of my mother so she can take care of the house. If more of these young boys had more interest in taking care of their mothers and sisters, nieces and cousins they wouldn't have time to be on the block all day getting high and trying to impress other boys and shooting after one another. YOUNG BLACK MALES you have forgotten about the BLACK WOMAN she will help you once you help her, you cant ride a bike with no chain can you? Take care of the black women and it starts with the black man.
  • Len (16/02/2018, 08:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let me clear the air a all starts at home but the government has a responsibility to put the necessary structures in place. Moons ago a few friends and i has been lobbying for government to build more lawn tennis courts in the BVI. "Money wasted are money poured away." I challenge this administration and future administration to at least construct 1 tennis court in road town, west end and at least cane garden bay (for a start).

    There are many parents who are interested in having their children play tennis but 2 public tennis courts in East End isn't suffice. Its time to do right by the children of the territory...and ooh yes!! There are able Virgin Islanders who are "more than able" to coach the kids. It has been done before!

  • What is the root of the Problem (16/02/2018, 18:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Our parents worked hard to get assets to pass on to their children, in some cases they succeeded and the children ended up with a nice cushion, properties, business that bring in money whether the beneficiaries continue to work hard or not; even money in the bank. Sometimes we have left nothing for our children to work towards. Could that be part of the problem?

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