Even though most schools have implemented rules and regulations to curb the bleaching phenomenon such as banning offending student-athletes from school representation, it is still a problem they have to deal with continuously.The extend of bleaching was evident in the recent schoolboy season with a majority of the participating schools’ teams featuring players who engage in skin bleaching.Star striker for daCosta Cup champions Cornwall College Jourdain Fletcher was probably the most recognisable student-athlete, with a toned skin throughout this season. His speed, skills, and goals were as eye-catching as his discoloured face, but coach Dr Dean Weatherly explained that students bleach ardently during holidays, so when they return to school, it takes some time for their original colour to return.”When he (Fletcher) came in the summer (camp), he had stopped, but I saw it creeping in towards the end of the season when it was coming around to Christmas. So up to that point, I mentioned it to him. But over the holidays, it seems he intensified his use of the product, so now he looks white,” Weatherly declared. “It’s not that we don’t try to prevent it, but when they are out of school for three to four weeks, we can do nothing.”Excelsior’s female football coach, Xavier Gilbert, believes the females’ admiration for the bleaching practice has strengthened the males’ love for the habit. He also feels that it’s the parents who should take the lead in stopping their children from altering their skin tone.”They (boys) do it because the females like it, and once females like it, it is going to be difficult to stop. Females, in general, like when males behave like gangsters, so if youngsters behave that way and females are attracted to them, then they are going to continue to behave that way and wear tight pants and bleach,” Gilbert said.”But the parenting is a big part of it, but when you send to call the parents, you understand why the kids do it because the parent bleach, too,” he added.Weatherly agrees.”We should start educating parents first and see how it goes. All schools should implement rules to prevent it from happening. If parents won’t put a stop to it, the school has to enforce the rule,” he reasoned.”It would be nice if posters and notices are put up to show how harmful it can be, just like how they educate about teenage pregnancy and drugs so they know the harmful effects,” Gilbert [email protected]
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