The issue of skin bleaching is plaguing the schools and administrators have found themselves fighting this unwanted battle. This significant issue facing our society has found itself in our schools and is presenting a serious challenge. An investigation conducted by EDUCATE JAMAICA has found that some of these students are spending as much as $3,500 per week to build and maintain their look. To put this into context, this amount being spent weekly is almost half the national weekly minimum wage. Our investigation also found that many of the students who were involved, were the ones who could least afford it and often had problems with inadequate lunch money, inadequate school resources as well as poor attendance and underperformance in school. A recent letter sent to parents by a high school, is a stark reminder of how intense the battle is and a cry from schools for help with this issue. Many schools are looking to parents for help, however many of the youngsters who are bleaching, have very close relatives who are also doing so, which was confessed by many of the students we spoke to. A principal who wishes not to be identified, expressed that he requested a meeting with a parent when he discovered that a child at the school was bleaching and to his surprise the parent too was also bleaching.
The long term skin cancer implications are being ignore despite some amount of public awareness being raised about the issue. According to Dr Andre Williams of Teshuva Wellness (Jamaica), " The skin is the largest organ in the body. We need to assume that anything placed onto the skin will also be absorbed into the rest of the system. The desired change in complexion therefore comes with a price: infections, skin damage, and an increased risk of cancer. It is just not worth the risk."
The matter affecting schools is seemingly not getting any better and requires further public awareness investments and possibly a ban on know products bought for bleaching.