Lead British Int’l School Bullying: Of Complicit Schools And Government Complacency

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By Mobolaji Sanusi

Watching the trending video of budding hooligan kids of the Lead British International School, Abuja gives me goosebumps. I watched, with great concern, how a demonic girl of the school tortured a fellow girl student in what has now contemporarily gained traction as ‘bullying.’

As a parent, seeing a young, innocently vulnerable girl being inflicted with such crass barbarity by better-imprisoned-fellow student leaves sour taste in the mouth.

The barrages of slaps, the hopelessness of the kid victim and the criminal audacity of the assailant students to video such cruelty and the release of such on the social media is a fundamental flaw in the management system in that highbrow school. It calls to question the seriousness of owners of the school to provide genuine education that is devoid of brutality.

The viciousness in the viral video is most likely not to be the first of its kind in that school, judging from the criminal minded students’ confidence. However, that viral video exposed the act as being one too many. And a stop must be put to it by relevant authorities.

The cruelty suffered by that victimized girl can only be administered, not by any well-brought-up kid students, but by wild and demon-possessed children that shouldn’t be pride to any good parents.

Such demonic children/students seen in the viral video can’t be one of those groomed as future trustees of our dear country. She and her likes are better kept in welfare homes and handled with iron hands for inflicting barbarity on fellow beings.

So difficult to fathom that any parents would pay millions of naira per annum in a character lacking overrated school to warrant such inhuman treatment on their wards. The Lead British International school founded in 2007 is nothing but a jungle where students are maltreated by fellow students without the school management feigning not to know about it.

Does it mean Hon. Wale Oke, chairman of its board, the head teacher and others academic and non academic members of staff of the school have never heard of such bullying acts in the school before this last incident? What concrete steps were taken to forestall such cruelty or were they covering up because of their insatiable appetite for revenue for the school? Do they have parental blood flowing in their veins? Would they tolerate such aberrant infliction on their biological kids? They are guilty and owe the world unreserved apology for looking the other way while such gruesome maltreatments went on within the school’s territory.

The Lead British International School, with its trending video of inhumanity on social media can’t be a world-class education providing school for children based on the English National Curriculum and purportedly blended with the Nigerian. The school can’t be one that fosters a love of learning by providing a challenging, rich and broad education.

Rather, with their insensitive management that is irresponsive to vulnerable students’ welfare and wellbeing, the school should better be closed down so as to send the desired signal to other schools grooming demonic kids as students in their jurisdictions.

The litany of cases of students bullying with questionable conclusions in the history of this country are too many. This apparent lack of denouement to these avoidable cases have put parents of victims on the receiving end. It has also shown relevant authorities as not effectively in charge of licensing schools where well-behaved students are groomed.

For instance, cases of a weak educational licensing system in place across the country are very troubling to the hearts. One could easily recollect Sylvester Oromoni, a student of Dowen College and only son of his parents, who reported died on November 30, 2021 after nursing multiple internal injuries he reportedly sustained after been beaten by fellow students who were bullying him at his school’s boarding house. The young boy is said to have refused to succumb to pressures from aberrant fellow students to join a cult group. Moments before he died, he confessed to his parents that five boys stormed his room, put off the lights, and beat him up in the presence of other students before feeding him with a chemical for refusing to join the “cult group.” His case ended in highly contentious manner.

Karen-Happuch Akpagher, a 14 years old boarding student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja also died of sexual assault complications on June 2021. A condom was said to have been left in her private part.

Karen’s mother, Vivien Akpagher, accused her school of shielding a suspected pedophile with a blistering media stunt to save their face. Nothing concrete was done to the demonic kids of that school that killed Karen simply because the school and the relevant authorities compromised at the expense of justice for Karen.

Furthermore, Don Davis, an 11 years old student of Deeper Life High School, Uyo, reportedly died from physical and sexual molestation from his seniors. He was also starved by the school authority for bedwetting until his death on December 2020. The gruesome torture he went through was revealed in a video posted by his mother, Deborah Okezie on the social media. Till date, his soul is still crying for justice from a complicit school and a weak system in the country.

Yahaya Aliyu, a 13 years old JSS2 student of Government Secondary School, Kwali, Abuja was beaten to death by his teacher in August 2021.

The end of justice has not been served till now despite the case being taken up by the FCT Police command as well as the school’s Old Students Association.

These educational maladies cannot continue if truly the country is serious about using schools to build good character and uphold desired values in our society. Bullying, no matter who their parents are should not be in schools but welfare homes where their aberrant conducts can be reformed.

The government should ensure that the end of justice is served in this last bully case. The culprits should be expelled from the school, and the school severely sanctioned for failure to instill discipline in its jurisdiction. No school management should be allowed to turn their territories into breeding ground for future political thugs and societal vermin.

Also, parents should, henceforth, be vicariously liable and prosecuted, as a matter of state policy, for the criminal misconduct of their kids. The affected schools and parents should be made to pay heavy compensation for the criminal misdeeds of their wards. The victims’ parents can also approach the court for compensation. With this, parental/school aiding and abetting of aberrant kids shall be drastically reduced.

The government needs not be complacent but promptly and firmly intervene now to serve as deterrence to other schools/parents harbouring hooligans in students’ costumes.

Sanusi is a Lagos based corporate legal consultant.

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