This story of assault on my son last Wednesday by one of his teachers in a secondary school in Magodo Phase 2, is heavily redacted because I have sincerely forgiven the teacher, despite the hurt still in my soul. We are called into the ministry of forgiveness, peace and harmony, even when not convenient, as it is not, in this situation. I’m also leaving the school’s identity out of this story, because fidelity to promise, made to God and man, is our real accountability to the new birth in Christ.
In the midst of the national uproar over the Dowen killing of Sylvester Oromoni, which even attracted presidential assurance to serve justice to those behind the atrocious murder of the 12 year-old, including, hopefully, those guilty by association, compromise and concealment as well as accessories after the fact, my decision to just let go, may be a huge risk, considering the already-manifesting threat of gang-up by the teacher’s colleagues against my children, despite the official assurances that all would be well going forward. But forgiving him was the right thing to do and it doesn’t have to realistic, to be right. Mr X almost totally closed my son’s left eye with a thunderous slap (I still shudder at the imagery of the force that left that boy’s visage the way I saw it, despite the incident happening hours, before), just for obeying his, “everybody leave that corridor” order. My son, who was the first to run away from the corridor, was the one he chose to punish and his punishment was first, a blow to the head, before a thunderous slap which got even the principal’s son, my son’s classmate, testifying against his mother’s employee when the teacher wanted to deny the obvious, sending him reeling to the ground.
The sadness that tore through my soul when the older sister who was an eye-witness was relaying the incident to me at home, took both my appetite and sleep away, on Wednesday night. Mr. X then flung my son, already grounded with a contorted visage, into a corner of the classroom, to continue the punishment. All this while, the principal was in her office a whistle-blow away.
When I confronted Mr. X Thursday morning, the desire for vengeance welled in my soul. Without Christ, I could have possibly taken the guy on, man to man and see if my brief boxing training of yesteryears, would completely deny me some sort of victory. But because Christ is in now and by His mercy, never to depart, old things must pass away and part of the newness is leaving vengeance to God that understands and serves it better. Though my family and I, particularly the young man involved, who suddenly began to “feel” for his abuser when we decided to throw a little scare into him, (talk of Stockholm Syndrome here), had forgiven Mr. X for his deliberate act of wickedness, it would be for God to decide whether he would still be due for comeuppance or not.
Did I say deliberate act? Yes. After the brutalization and the realization by his colleagues in the Staff Room that trouble might be brewing with the boy’s swollen face, they tried to mitigate the effect by apologizing to my son, begging him, to let go, which was possibly one of the reasons he didn’t open up to me, the moment I saw him and for some funny reason which I still can’t place, I didn’t also ask him why he returned from school, with a visage different from the one he left home with. What I remember clearly was the outright assumption in my head that it must have been the cold he was battling. What didn’t come to me at that moment was why my own face wasn’t that disfigured, considering I was in the middle of a bout myself, which almost flattened me for days. Well, I eventually got to hear the full story from his older sister and the part that incredibly saddened me, was Mr. X’s boast to his colleagues who were encouraging him to plead with my son, that his parents, would do nothing.
My desiccated tongue, due to the cold, stiffened at this point of narration, a claim well-corroborated and which he couldn’t deny during confrontation.
His victory lap tore my soul into pieces because he earned it. Indeed, until Wednesday night, I had left practically all complaints of bullying in the past, to the principal to “handle”, so when the camel back broke on Wednesday, and I called her again to intimate her of the heartbreaking report, she thought it the usual and still gave the usual line, “Mr. Adewole, please leave it to me, to handle, I will handle it”, to which I screamed, “No, I’m coming to your school tomorrow. I’m handling this myself”. The hysteria of Kunle Abiyamo (birth-bed pangs) in the background, which she must have connected to immediately, possibly hushed her assurance of being on top of this one too.
Mr. X was sprawling on the floor of the principal’s office when we stormed the school on Thursday. His colleagues were obviously embarrassed for his sake. Here is a young man of not more than 30 years or less. What would be my gain if his life is destroyed at his prime, if I insisted on pressing charges. But the question begging for answer, for everyone, including his employers, is why seeking the most obedient out for punishment. He was just mumbling.
Demons from the pit of hell, are taking over schools (no pun intended) and because they manifest through human agents, incredible tales of student-to-student and teacher-to-student (which is the prevailing order in my children’s school) are just, sadly everywhere.
While we were still trying to process what could have possessed Mr. X to attack a student for being obedient, news came Thursday night, two teachers, a male and a female, were trying to be scandalous again. Once bitten, twice shy, I sent a message to the principal straightaway. Friday morning, she replied “Nothing to worry about sir. All is well”.
That is my prayer that all would be well with school children all over the world, including USA where boys just coming off being spoon-fed cereals, are grabbing guns and mowing their classmates down.
I know for people of knowledge and those representing science, like Dr. Fauci, answers would be sought in psychoanalysis, behavioural pattern and control, et al. But no man acts outside the two forces controlling our world, that of darkness and Light. It is time to rescue education from the pit of hell.
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