I was the kind of child the school system did not give a chance in life and my case is not in any way peculiar.
At 10, my class teacher had nicknamed me devil, accusing me of killing my friend, Dada, who was fatally injured while we played unsupervised during our lunch break.
I was named noise maker daily, punished for being outspoken, and when I could not be stopped from expressing myself the best way I could as a child, I graduated to being named a disturber.
While noise makers were canned in the classroom before classmates, disturbers were canned on the assembly ground on Mondays before the full glare of the entire population of students, juniors, and seniors.
I was a noisemaker because I interacted with fellow students when the teacher stepped out of the class and I was a disturber because I interacted multiple times with fellow students.
The names were written by a school-appointed class captain, a fellow student, who was programmed to be fully loyal to the school.
It is interesting to note that the class captain wrote my name sua sponte as I was never reported to the class captain by the fellow students I interacted with that I constituted a nuisance to them through noise-making or I made life difficult for them through disturbing. Needless to say, there was mutuality but it was not respected.
At 14, my name was already in the black book of my secondary school.
The architects and drivers of these experiences were empowered by a belief and academic system to see themselves as disciplinarians, who acted in my best interest. But were they? Are today’s precious children treated differently? Where do we go from here?
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