I was in tears at this point, pleading that I was actually trying to avoid walking through them to get to the other end of the room in order to deliver a message from another senior. My pleas fell on deaf ears as this senior felt I slighted her, I should have waited, she insisted. And incur the wrath of the senior whose errand I was running?
The pain and trauma…and yes, shame stayed with me for years. I had nightmares about it until I made the senior my friend on Facebook.
I don’t comment on her posts nor like anything she puts out, she’s just there.
I thought my case was peculiar until I shared my story with a few friends and many said they were still traumatized years after over their experiences of being bullied at school.
In fact, one of them said she refused to accept the friendship on Facebook of a particular senior who beat her over something she wasn’t even responsible for. When the senior reached out to her, asking why she rejected her friendship, the friend narrated the event again and the senior apologized, telling her she didn’t even recall the said event. Still, my friend said she couldn’t get over it and refused to add the senior as a friend.
Very few people who have experienced bullying hardly forget it, so when a few days back, I stumbled on another case of bullying, I knew on which side I would be standing.
Here’s the case and you be the judge.
A boy in his final year had been expelled by the school for bullying younger students. The father of the boy began soliciting the help of other parents to talk the school’s management into taking the son back to sit for his WAEC and NECO Exams. He claimed the school didn’t notify him before his son was expelled; even though the school said they had called him several times to report his son. He was even invited to come to school but didn’t show up. He was said to have told the school to do their worst…they did. They expelled his bully son!
Now this issue greatly divided the platform; which is a parents’ group for the school. Many parents felt sad that the future of the bully would be jeopadised by this ‘extreme action’ of the school.
It was later discovered the bully had indeed not just bullied one junior student but a string of others who in a voice note leaked to the forum, detailed the several times the bully had hit them, grabbed their necks in a vice threatening to choke them and made threats that nothing would come out of the juniors who report as snitches would be dealt with.
It broke my heart all over again when I heard the junior children’s voices as each recounted what they supposedly did wrong to warrant the senior bullying them. A good number did absolutely nothing, the bully was just flexing his muscles as a senior student.
Naturally, this riled a lot of parents against the bully who had hitherto gained a sympathetic ear after his father’s plea to parents. The father argued that his son has disgraced him and was sorry but the school shouldnt ruin his future with this expulsion.
While some argued that the boy should, indeed, remain expelled as a deterrent to other would be bullies, others felt the need to temper justice with mercy by allowing the bully return to write his exams.
I had to ask an all pertinent question when I read the many posts on this matter-has the father of the bully reached out to the children his son bullied? Has he reached out to the parents of the children his son bullied? While he was busy repeating the ‘injustice’ done his son, (the ‘hasty’ expulsion by the school) did he pause to consider the damage his son has done to the other kids for life? Is the life of his son more precious than those of these kids?
Bullying should never be tolerated, not at home and certainly not in schools. As parents, our stand should be clear to our children that we will not tolerate nonsense.
Parents of old would have gone to the school upon hearing their kid was expelled and delivered dirty slaps to the face of the child. It sends a strong signal. That way, no child will misbehave at school knowing their parents punishment will be worse than whatever the school decides to dish out.
This bully in question was quoted to have said he would come back to that school no matter what.
So, imagine the paralysing fear the junior students will be under as long as the bully walks free.
On the flip side, no parent sends their child to school to bully other kids so when one’s kid misbehaves, it shames the entire family.
Unfortunately, there was no good feedback from the school about the bully’s dad. He was invited by the school on several occasions but never showed up. It turned out he was hospitalised. But he could have sent his wife, a brother, sister anyone to go stand for him when he was unable to go himself but once his son was expelled, he suddenly showed up with a limp at the PTA meeting the following week to ask that parents plead with the school’s management to let his son write his exams.