A mother is seeking justice after her daughter was allegedly assaulted and her hair forcefully chopped off by her teachers in school. It was gathered that the unfortunate incident occurred at Ayomi School in Sangotedo, Lagos State. According to reports, the girl had gone to school in long braids, which is against the school’s rules, but instead of sending the child home, the school’s teachers held her and forcefully chopped off her hair. They also allegedly used a mob stick to flog her repeatedly on her back.
SENSES (Child Safeguarding and Protection Principle):
Schools have a duty of care to ensure that the precious children under their care are safe, protected and taken care of sufficiently. To subject a child to such an inhumane treatment is a grave contradiction of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Child’s Rights Act 2004 and the Child Rights Law of Lagos State 2015(as amended).
Most importantly, the treatment meted out to this precious girl child reflects our archaic disposition to what we call discipline both in the hands of primary and secondary parents.
In Lagos, Nigeria, law enforcement agents do not prevent citizens from committing an offence, which is the primary aim of law enforcement. They watch and often hide in waiting for a person to commit an offence then they show up to arrest and apportion sanctions. This is more rampant when it comes to traffic offences.
There is a direct corollary between the way these law enforcement agents operate and how most primary and secondary operate. They position discipline as a tool of inflicting consequences instead of seeing it for what it is.
Discipline is structured as commitment and mechanism to point out to the errors of our precious children and not the noble efforts to exemplify and point them in the value-based direction
Discipline has its root in the Latin word, which mean, ‘to teach’ and not to inflict consequences. We teach by example. We teach by communicating the value behind an expected behavior. We teach to help our precious children to be conscious of their dignity of human person and defend the same.
STONE (Call to action):
- Government at all level must insist that all schools whether private or government have a Child Safeguarding and Protection System/Policy in place aimed at ensuring the safety and protection of our precious children within the school system.
- Ultimately, we must save the souls of our precious children by changing our disposition to what we call child discipline.
- It is also important that psychosocial support be provided for this child to enable her to recover from this inhumane treatment meted on her.