HOW I WAS SUSPENDED FROM SCHOOL
This is a story I have kept a secret for more than 14 years or thereabout. But I believe parents will learn from this… I will share it with you.
At the Junior Seminary, we would gather every Saturday evening in the assembly ground to sing hymns. Well, I must admit, it was usually boring for me except when my favourite hymns are being sung. I only enjoyed those evening because it temporary put to a pause, the bullies of the old students who we call “Senior” and the worries of the hostels.
All my life in the Seminary I lived with fear of the seniors, fear of the teachers, fear of the students and fear of the unknown. All my properties had been stolen including the last cloth I had. I couldn’t tell if someone deliberately wanted to deal with me for all my properties was stolen except the short and vest I wore to sleep. It sounds funny, my life in the seminary was a very miserable one. I don’t know if other students experienced it, mine was an exceptional one. I had to borrow clothes or even hire from fellow seminarians everyday just to attend classes. I ran into debts. One of my creditors even offered to bully me for one week and forget the money I owe him… Those are the kinds of people you find in that Seminary School at that time. There were very good and wonderful people and there were also lots of bad people too.
It was in the midst of this mess that a boy came my way. It was on Saturday evening when we gathered to sing hymns. Whenever he comes near me he would pretend to have mistakenly touched my private parts. He continued this everyday and much more frequently. By then, we had become a bit friendly or maybe I was pretending or faking the friendliness because I don’t like him for anything.
Being an extreme introvert, his advances was beginning to worry me but I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I had even warned him and threatened him the way I can. As if he knew I was too weak to do anything he continued. He would come every night during prep to sit beside me and he even started making advances in broad daylight.
I was confused at that moment. I was still very tender and I’ve never heard about homosexuals, gay and even sex! I knew nothing about sex, I didn’t even know the process involved in the activities of sex till I was in Senior Secondary. It was the biggest reason why I couldn’t report him because I didn’t know what he was doing even when I was feeling very uncomfortable with it.
One bad night, the lights were out. I mean … our lamps because at that time there was no functional electricity in the School. I was in a deep sleep and believe me, other hostel mates were in deep sleep too. I felt uneasy, something was happening between my legs and I almost moaned loudly but a hand covered by mouth.
“Shhhh….” I heard him say. “Keep quiet… Don’t you like it?” He asked me
I didn’t know what he was doing with his mouth between my legs but whatever he was doing, I was feeling some kind of pleasure and I was also feeling some kind of pressure. At that time I didn’t know what to call what he was doing but something within me told me that whatever he was doing with that part of my body was immoral. In that confusion, I reluctantly resisted him and thanks to God he left. I decided to go meet the principal in the morning. He was a Reverend who is now an Archdeacon.
It was Saturday morning and we do have inspection session on Saturdays where the Principal and other staff come to inspect the rooms, make sure we had white bed sheets spread on our mattress and also make sure our teeth, nail, hair and our bodies are clean. My bed sheet had been stolen and that means the principal was going to flog me and beat the hell out of me. He sure did. In Nigeria, teachers would beat their students to their taste and never get sued for doing so. After the inspection was over I received lots of punishments and series of beating from the seniors too in my hostel for failing to spread white sheet on my mattress.
I went to a corner and sat down to cry to myself. I was worried about everything, worried about life and worried about the essence of my existence. The thoughts of Friday night and Saturday morning kept jamming on my head and I felt it was going to burst. With the treatment I already received from the Principal and the Seniors, I was much more afraid to approach them and talk about my experiences in school. I thought of facing the Principal to make complaints with my stammering voice. I thought of the mean faces of the seniors and I felt discussing such things with them would expose me to another punishment and I decided to keep my cool.
One of those days after we had gone home on vacation. Mum took me back to school on the day of resumption. I remember crying in front of the school asking her to take me back home. The school environment itself symbolized terror to me, the scene smelt of cane and punishments and the sight of the seniors made my heart skip beats a lot of times. Yet, I couldn’t tell my mum why I wanted her to take me back home. I told her some of my properties were stolen, I told her how the seniors kept bullying us but I never told her that someone was playing with the object between my legs because I didn’t know how to say it especially when its an issue that relates to a private part. She encouraged me… She was moved by my tears and she even considered giving me 300% extra money in addition to the pocket money I already received. She also offered to buy me more provisions but I declined all those requests… I just wanted to leave the school or else keep dying inside of me. But my tears couldn’t help it… I remained in the school.
I didn’t tell you I was in the school with my elder brother who happened to be in the same class with me. Because we couldn’t answer a maths question correctly our Maths teacher gave us a new name in class. He called us “THE TWO MORON BROTHERS”. I added him to the list of my enemies and at a time I began to think of a possibility of setting the school on fire. I could remember discussing with two other losers (we were supposed losers at that time) whose life was also miserable at the seminary. One of them was ” Ekpechi” and the other was “Ngwomelu” (I can’t remember their real names). We discussed and planned on how to cause rampage in the school so that everyone can go home… I suggested that we set the new acquired power generating machine ablaze. We thought on the possibilities but discovered we were only being kids to think we can carry out such a mission without being caught.
In a way to always stay out of trouble and the boy that has been tormenting my life I resorted to sneaking out of school back to our home in Onitsha. I convinced my brother and together we devised a strategy.
One faithful morning, our applied fine art tutor instructed us to go to a village stream called “Odonwankita” and gather white clay which we can use in making objects. It was situated at the back of the school. We left in various team but while we wander about the village I discovered there were possible routes from the village through which I can reach the road and board a bus back home. We did gather our clay and headed back to school.
The next day, we packed few things. I had nothing to pack because my properties were all gone. We sneaked through the back of the school via an erosion sight that gave us more space under the school fence. It took us a long walk and we actually missed the road many times. Immediately we discovered a road and headed towards it. Lo and behold, we saw our Principal driving from a distance towards us. Perhaps he was heading back to school from an event. At the sight of him we jumped inside a gutter and hid ourselves until a 201 bus pulled by. We jumped out of the gutter and it was “bye bye from school”.
To cut the long story short. We repeated this action about three times and each time my dad will angrily drive us back to school. The last time he did, he reported us to the school security and asked them to guard us and make sure we don’t sneak out again. They assured him so and even promised not to report us to the Principal because my Dad would always give them some change whenever he comes by.
Unknown to me, my hostel seniors have reported me to the Principal already concerning my absence in hostel for some nights and my accomplice was implicated too. The next day, we were called up in the assembly for negative recognition. On such cases, our principal would make the student go naked and flog him to a point of inflicting wounds on him. I thought it was going to be my case but thanks to God… He announced we will be suspended from the school and asked that we go home and invite our parents to come meet him.
“Wow! Isn’t it lovely… What an easy way to make it official” I told myself. The boy who would always come to use his filthy hands on me was not happy about the development. He looked sad that his pleasure-toy was not going to be around for some time.
“I can ask the principal to reconsider suspending you both. I really feel for you” the school clerk said when I went to collect my suspension letter.
“No ma… I want to obey the school order. Its my punishment and I will bear it” I responded. If she knew how happy I was about going home, she shouldn’t have felt anything for me.
Considering my stubbornness towards remaining in that school, We went home and never returned again… At least, the monster boy
Till date, the story was never told. No one knew I was fleeing from something I didn’t understand. No one gave me an opportunity to approach them…
Now my advice for Parents is this: children and young youths go through a lot of things they don’t understand because we feel they are too young to know some things. It was in Senior Secondary Class One that I knew what sex and homosexuality was during our Biology class on “reproduction”. Tell your children about sex and make it yourself approachable so that with what you tell them they can ask you questions and even tell you what they are experiencing.
Save your child today from abuse!