Teachers taking over from ‘uncles’ in the child molestation bill board chart?
There is this incident that happened in a private school in Lagos state recently which my friend who teaches in the school narrated to me.
A ten year old pupil of the school who recently relocated from the UK to Lagos with her parents reported to her parents that one of her teachers was molesting her sexually. The parents promptly took it up with the school authorities.
When the accused teacher got wind of it, he claimed innocence, and took offense that his name was being tarnished and quit coming to school even before the matter could be discussed by all the parties involved.
The school authority for reasons known only to them, sacked another teacher who was purportedly innocent but recalled the accused.
The little girl who was molested became agitated and her class teacher on seeing the girl’s distress called her aside and asked her what was disturbing her. She told the teacher that her molester was still around the school while the other teacher who had always been nice to her had stopped coming to school.
The teacher called the head teacher of the school and together they recorded the girl’s confession of what transpired which they made available to the school head.
The accused teacher was thus relieved of his duties with an apology and that was the end of it.
Recently there was a media report of same incident, another school, another teacher, different set of students, same state, same reaction from the school authority.
In both cases, the accused teachers were not apprehended, they were left to continue preying on little girls. Both schools, albeit many others, prefer exposing more kids to these molesters in order to protect their name. I bet you that the accused teachers in both cases have found employment in other schools and what are they likely to continue doing?
I know competition is stiff thus the need to keep everything hush lest these schools lose their students and pupils due to scandal. Yet if it had happened to the proprietor’s daughter, will he take same action? Would he not have handed the teacher over to the appropriate authorities for befitting punishment?
It pains me because many more girls will be forced to endure same fate which could have been avoided. If the matter was further investigated, I bet you some other girls from those schools would have come out to testify to having been molested by same teachers.
One thing I take away from these incidents is that parents have a great role to play in protecting their little ones. The ten year old girl who relocated newly from the UK was obviously better equipped to handle molestation than some of her peers who grew up in Nigeria. She was not the first nor will she be the last, but she had enough guts to tell her parents even though the teacher must have warned her otherwise. What did her parents do that the other parents were not doing?
I think communication is the first key. The girl was free enough to tell her parents what she was passing through. Can my children freely come up to me and share their pains with me? Am I physically and emotionally available to them always?
Secondly, knowledge is power. If you are not informed, then you become deformed physically or mentally. I believe her parents empowered her with the right information to fight such situations. Some parents still would not talk about sex and molestation to their kids when we know that the wrong information abound everywhere, even under our very noses.
Also, this brave girl was raised to have her own voice. Obviously, she was not raised to believe that she is a voiceless second hand citizen who should shut up and swallow whatever is shoved down her guts. She was raised to stand up for her right from a tender age. Imagine if she had remained silent like the others.
We cannot always be around to protect our children from all the dangers of this world, but we can empower them early enough to be able to fight for themselves.
Happy weekend y’all!