Saturday, April 20, 2024

Editorial: Elected officials must lead by example

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IN OUR OPINION

Elected officials must lead by example, and follow mandated laws and policy accordingly.

THE ISSUE: Despite being told by the Ministry of Education that it was not within his jurisdiction to declare a school holiday on September 11th, San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero chose to ignore the directive.

WE BELIEVE: Not only did the Mayor abuse his authority, but his refusal to comply with a mandated order from the Ministry of Education demonstrates a lack of respect for government policy.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK: Contact us via email at [email protected] or mail to PO Box 35, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Who doesn’t love a day off from work or school? So when Mayor Guerrero announced at the September 10th celebrations that he was declaring the following day a school holiday many regarded the man a hero! Without really thinking about what that meant to the equation of how many days students must spend in the classroom per school year, and the unexpected holiday pay for the teachers, everyone thought it was a grand idea. Little did we know that not only had the Ministry of Education declined the Mayor’s request to declare the day a school holiday, but our Mayor decided to make his own policy.

In a country that is often referred to as lawless, how is it that our elected officials are often the ones who abuse the system the most? Instead of defying orders from a government ministry shouldn’t our leader be the first to proudly execute it? With such little regard to mandated laws one has to wonder how far the disregard goes? Where else are policies and laws being ignored?

Perhaps what is most concerning is that after this story was posted on social media the amount of people who were behind the attitude of, “Screw the Ministry of Education…GO DANNY” was overwhelming. Here is our culture; politicians operating outside their jurisdiction and the community applauding them. So, why not just follow in their footsteps? Heck, if our leaders don’t respect the laws and government policy then why should we?

We believe the law is the law, period. Whether we agree with it or not, it must be upheld and respected by our leaders. Our leaders should inspire us to uphold the law, not encourage us to defy it whenever we find it inconvenient or consider it senseless. Whatever example our elected officials lead by, you can count on the people to follow them…right or wrong.

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