My eyes dimmed open in the dead of the night; the excruciating pain from the ceaseless strokes I had received earlier from my Physics teacher, made it difficult for me sleep.
‘Uncle John has beaten more than he can chew…’ I cussed out, blowing my swollen skin if the pain would lessen. The annoying part was that the night was like forever.
At last it was morning, I reluctantly got up and washed the dishes, it was a daily routine for me I dare not object. I was the last born and my other siblings were already in higher institution, so I was the only child at home with my parents.
My dad watched me keenly for a while;
‘Daniel, why aren’t you dressed for school yet, what do you think the time is saying?’ he blurted out
‘I’m not going to school today' I muttered as sadness plastered my face.
‘Aren't you the one I’m talking to?’ he cussed out, standing up
My faced dropped, staring at my bruises, I couldn’t find the words to explain the embarrassment I received from uncle John; beating me in front of my classmates,
the incidence is still very much etched in my heart and memory. But I knew my father, if I don’t reply him now I might be in big trouble.
'I was beaten by my teacher yesterday, boohoo!' I cried
‘What for, what did you do?’
‘I don’t know for him, he was just beating me non stop, look at my body’
‘Whaaat!’ he shrieked 'Why would a teacher beat you up like this, what nonsense!'
I grinned when I saw anger flickered in his eyes,
‘Go and get dressed, I’m coming with you' he ordered and dashed into his room.
Gan gan! I rushed into the bathroom.
My dad was well kitted in his camouflage; bearing three six pointed stars which were vertically aligned on the front of his uniform. He asked two other First Lieutenant to join him, they had stayed the previous night in our house.
Yes! I exclaimed silently; the joy of going to school with my dad alleviated the pain from the bruises.
My father is a captain in the army, he had zero tolerance for nonsense. Once dad comes to my school, everyone would respect me, and as for uncle John, he will get what he truly deserves,
‘He’s forming discipline master, e cable don burn today' I scoffed, relishing on the ebb and flow of my thought, and bam, we were already in front of my school
Dad honked severally but the gateman refused to open the gate when he perceived danger. The two first lieutenant jumped out from the Hiloux and threatened to hit the old man who quickly opened the gate in order to save his head.
We stormed into the school compound and headed for the principal’s office, all eyes were on us, I could feel all class activity pausing to have a glimpse of the scenario, students lost concentration in on going lectures. Not long I heard the cheering of my classmates, SS1 Diamond
‘Daniel go to your class I will call you when I need you' my dad ordered.
‘Daniel, Daniel, Daniel!’ my colleagues chanted, throwing their fist in the air, banging the desk, and clapping their hands as I approached the class. I smirked,
‘Beautiful! exactly what I wanted, I’ve always told them stories about my dad now they would believe me' I thought as I entered my class, I shook my friends and hugged some. Some even pushed me slightly in excitement,
‘Uncle John go see Oba today' they shrieked in anticipation.
In no time, I lifted up my head and saw my dad walking towards me with the two first lieutenants, uncle John, and the principal behind him.
‘Daniel?’ he called out
I stood and came out from my seat
My dad yanked my collar and
My face dropped, I bit my tongue in confusion, why did dad slap me? Cold shivers ran through my spine pinning me to the spot.
‘Daniel for the last time why did your teacher beat you?’ he glared
‘ehm, ehm… he asked us to stop making noise and I hissed, he asked me why I hissed, I cussed out, he then asked me to stand up and close my eyes but I walked out of the class, he flogged me on my back, I yanked the cane and insulted him, he started beating me…’
‘Why didn’t you tell me this earlier? Rather you were evasive. What where you thinking? That I would come to your school and start ranting or fighting your teacher without due investigation, you must be joking,
‘Don’t even dare say a word, no teacher in his right senses would beat up a child for no reason, if there’s any such teacher, I will handle him but in this case you were wrong and I will deal with you for that.
Pah, pah! More slaps landed on my face,
he shoved me to the floor and trounced on me so much that I had to cover my head.
The school authority started pleading with him to stop beating me, all my cheer leaders suddenly became dumb.
Bringing my dad to school was a dead loss
My father apologized to the teacher and the management and left.
‘You will meet me at home' he snapped his fingers and left.
I knew going home would be the end of me. At the close of school, uncle John followed me home to plead with my mother, I had already apologised to him in school.
My Mother she said she had heard him, that she would appeal to my dad on his return, I looked at my mum’s eyes, I knew those eyes better than anyone,
'Uncle John please don’t go, mummy is a retired headmistress, she will add pepper to injury' I kept calling out in my heart. If only he could see my thought, the teacher I once hated is now my saving grace.
‘I beg to leave now ma'am, I’m sure Daniel has learnt his lesson' Uncle John said and left.
‘Daniel!’ my mum shrieked, ‘come here
I felt my village people increase the volume of my heartbeat to the highest, my feet trembled,
It became more difficult to tell if my mum's stroke was more painful than dad's blow.
‘Kneel down and open your hand now, if I hear pin! the strokes I’m giving you is just preparation, when your dad returns he will continue from here, next time no one will teach you how to behave well. You think because your dad is a captain you have license to misbehave, we will shock you tonight’.
From that day, Daniel became compulsorily humble
This piece is dedicated to every teacher out there that has be verbally or physically abused because they disciplined a child, kids could be annoying but please learn separate anger from correction, you don’t have to injure them to instill good morals.
Think of appropriate measures to handle unruly behavior of kids in a way that won’t hurt them physically and psychologically as punishment is meant for correction and not torture.
Parents should learn to investigate matters and be diplomatic in handling issues that concerns their kids. The process of raising up a child is not only for the teachers, a well brought up child will most likely behave well in school, I was once a student. Parents please support teachers, vice versa.
And please, tell every students out there to calm down, do not despise your teachers because you see them in school everyday, they mean well for you, love them, obey them and respect them. They will give you beyond the best if you support them.
Soon you will graduate from school and realise that life is not the way you see it, obedience is a sign of maturity not weakness.
Life is like a circle, be intentional about your choices, they have effect either now or later.
Meanwhile, who will follow me to go and beg Captain Mark, because this night will be too hot for Daniel