*dusts cobwebs* I don’t even say I have a blog anymore, it’s embarrassing that I haven’t posted anything in a while…I’ve got to get out of this rut I’m stuck in.
So blogfam, howz it hanging? Sitting good? Weekend went well? My weekend was fabulous, spent it out of town with friends – plus the AH-MAY-ZING football match between Cameroon and Tunisia (Go Indomitable Lions!) where we whooped Tunisia 4-1 in the qualifier to the 2014 Brazil World Cup just made it even better. Team #237 for life! Did you watch the match? what were you up to? Let me know!
Ok, on to the topic of this post. We all know that bullying is a horrible practice, and when practiced by children in schools it can have lifelong devastating consequences on the victim, and dare I say even on the perpetrator.
However, bullying is increasingly taking a back seat to actual physical violence in schools – case in point? The stabbing of a Lowersixth (aka sixth form/freshman) student by a fifth form student in a popular boarding school in Buea Cameroon, St. Joseph’s College Sasse, yesterday November 18th, following a dispute OVER A PAIR OF SHORTS!! The stabbed student has since been declared dead, and his attacker is under police custody. ‘Sasse’ as it is popularly known is a Roman Catholic institution, and has fostered some of the greatest minds in Cameroon, including a former Prime Minister of Cameroon and countless other persons of repute. Their alumni association, the SOBANS, is amongst one of the most charismatic and popular ones nationwide. So in the midst of all this, what went wrong?
This story has made me sick to my stomach – unfortunately, stories like these are increasingly recurrent. All over the world, students are stabbing other students are stabbing, shooting, beating and maiming their classmates for any and no reason whatsoever. Happens in BHS Buea,Cameroon (yup, happened while I was there), Washington, West Virginia, and elsewhere . This begs the question, what is being done about this increase of violence on teenagers, by teenagers, in schools?
Is it enough for the schools to install metal detectors, perform searches of bags and lockers and report/punish/expel children found guilty of physical violence? Or does the blame lie elsewhere?
I think it does. The parents.
I may not have any children, but I’m around children and young, busy professionals often enough to know that a lot of children are growing up in the hands of nannies, preschool teachers, nursery attendants, grandparents, and a host of other people ill-suited to raising a child with the kind of discipline often required in today’s world. Charity begins at home. How many parents correct their children with corporal discipline nowadays?Your child throws a stone at a classmate in prenursery and gives them a cut on their forehead, and you scream bloody murder when they get suspended etc from school, saying ‘they are children’!! What happened to teaching a child the way they should go, so that when they grow older they don’t depart from it? My mother whopped me well and proper when I was younger (try being the headstrong daughter of a public-school discipline mistress! I was well acquainted with electric cables and branches from guava trees, springy buggers) and I think I turned out pretty great! Forget corporal punishment – if a parent cannot pay enough attention to their sole child or brood of three, how do you expect a teacher supervising a class of 20 (or in the case of my country, anywhere between 40-100) to catch and report signs of such anti-social behavior early enough to stop it manifesting?
I think it is not enough to punish a physically abusive child, especially if this child has already displayed signs of anti-social behavior eg getting into fights, cruelty to animals, etc. The problem needs to be addressed from the root, which is the home they grew up in. Parents also need to be held accountable for the actions of their (especially minor) children. I wish people had only those children they had the time to train, and didn’t just pop them out so they could have a mini-me, or fulfill scripture and populate the earth, or whatever other silly reasons people give for having children.
What do you think? Who’s to blame for the rise in physical violence between children and how can it be stopped?
May the soul of the murdered teenager, Chu Brian Ebelson, rest in peace.