It was nearing the end of term and as was normal, we usually had a party to celebrate the term’s end. There were lots of activities lined up like cultural dances, drama, welcome song and so on. I was participating in the cultural dance and we usually had a few hours practice in school in preparation for the D-day.
After morning lessons, I and some other classmates of mine who were also participating in the dance had gone for the dance practice. The teachers had a meeting in the headmaster’s office which was on the same floor as mine. (One could see my class from the headmaster’s office). After dance practice, we went back to the class. The teachers were still meeting in the headmaster’s office so my teacher had not returned.
Am sure most of you know who class monitors are. For those who don’t, a class monitor is supposed to control the other pupils and make sure there is order and quiet in the class, sometimes he /she is even given authority to flog other pupils(They had that authority in my class then)).
Now, we didn’t have a class monitor; we had CLASS MONITORS!
The biggest boys in class were the class monitors. I think they were about 4 of them. I wonder why we needed that much monitors anyway but what do you expect when we had a teacher like E’s mum. Those boys were terrors; big bullies who sought every opportunity to flog us. They particularly delighted in taunting me maybe cos they knew the teacher didn’t like me so I couldn’t report them to her.
Anyway, back to my gist. We(my classmates and i) returned to class but we were not allowed in by the class monitors. They told us to stand at the door and started questioning us. Why are you guys returning late? Who even gave you permission to go in the first place?? Why are you talking back at us??? These were some of the questions they threw at us. Finally, after the questioning they decided we needed to be flogged 6 strokes of the cane each on our palms before we would be let into the class. It got to my turn to be flogged and I stretched out my hands wincing even before the cane landed on my palms. I told myself not to cry cos I knew nothing would make them happier than to see the tears running down my face, The bullies!
Six strokes down and glad it was finally over. I made to go into the class but one of the bullies decided I needed one more stroke(they loved picking on me). As he lashed the cane down my back, the pain and anger I felt was intense. I turned at him like a wounded lion and grabbed the cane. I must have made a funny sight, small tiny me against the big bully but I didn’t care. I struggled with him for the cane wanting to give him a taste of his own medicine so he could feel how sweet it was. It turned out to be entertainment time for the rest of the pupils as big bully decided he wanted me to chase him round the class, he would hop on the tables, dodging me as I chased after him crying(yes, the tears had started pouring now). The rest of the pupils had begun chanting: “Money for soup! Money for soup!!” It was a popular chant whenever a girl and a boy had a fight. The song made it seem like they were a couple and the girl was demanding for soup money(feeding money) from the boy. Funny right? The school was razz like dat!
The song further infuriated me and when I couldn’t catch up with the bully. I broke down completely and started crying seriously. The other bullies were hailing their friend and laughing at me. I went and stood outside the class determined to report them to the teacher as soon as she came. I had hoped that If she saw me outside in tears, she would ask what was wrong.
I didn’t have to wait too long. Few minutes later, the teacher’s meeting ended and they all filed out from the headmaster’s office. I told you earlier that the headmaster’s office was just down the corridor on the same floor as my class. I saw my teacher approaching and I cried even harder for her to notice. If she saw me, she pretended not to notice I was standing there and just walked past me into the class. I didn’t know this then but my mum was just coming out of the headmaster’s office and saw what just transpired. She walked up to me and enquired why I was crying and I recounted to her everything that happened. Trust my mum na, she barged into the classroom (E’s mum had already began teaching and was scribbling something on the blackboard). My mum didn’t even talk to her, she turned to face my class mates and her voice boomed:
“WHO ARE THE IDIOTS THAT FLOGGED MY DAUGHTER?”
My classmates happily pointed them out. Mum went to their seats and dragged them up, the cowards were shaking and blabbering: “It wasn’t me ma” but my mum was past listening to reason. She dragged them to the front of the class, took the cane from my teachers desk and proceeded to flog them all the way they had flogged me. All this while, it was as if my teacher was in some sort of shock. However she quickly came out of the shock when my mum started flogging the bullies and grabbed the cane from my mum. She told my mum that she didn’t have the right to walk into her class and flog her pupils without first reporting to her. My mother told her that she didn’t think she was interested in knowing since she had seen me crying outside yet ignored me and walked into the class to commence teaching. The quarrel that followed was crazy! My mum’s patience had been tried and she let all loose, telling the teacher her life history,lol! When my teacher saw that she was losing the battle of the words she stormed out of the class and headed for the headmaster’s office to report my mum. Mum dragged me along and we also marched to the headmaster’s office behind E’s mum.
To cut the long story short, mum insisted I wasn’t going back to that class and that she was taking her kids (me & my siblings) out of that school. Nothing the headmaster said could change her mind. Meen! I was delirious with joy! I was finally going to be free from my wicked teacher…I couldn’t believe my luck!
The headmaster was still trying to talk mum out of her decision but I had already run to my class and begun packing my things. I didn’t want to spend another second in that class! Luckily the term was almost at an end so it wasn’t like I would be missing much.
Next term saw my parents enrolling us in a school far better than even the first school we had attended. Things had improved for my dad and mum had resolved that we would get nothing less than the best they could afford. My new school was of a higher standard; it had a big library where I could read all the books I had only dreamt of previously. School couldn’t be sweeter and I looked forward to going every morning.