Murder in the school yard in Leeds. Different nations , different challenges.

As Nigeria battles national security challenges UK, America and other developed countries battle their own types of challenge. To think that no lesson was learned from the unforgivable killing of Mr Lawrence, the wonderful school teacher who was killed by a student in London years back is most distressing. Now to think that a 61 year old who has given her life to helping some useless parents raise their reckless children whose recklessness bears all the hallmarks of broken family foundation has again been killed by her student, is even more distressing.

Children in Africa are begging for the opportunity to go to school and get education. Some of them like the President of Nigeria in his days had no shoes, books etc. and have to walk miles and miles to get to school, some without eating at all and others having to hawk goods before or after school to help their struggling parents make ends meet, but yet remain ever so grateful to be taught by their most times often poorly trained and badly supported teachers.

Their gratefulness is often expressed in the way they respect their teachers. Some of them regardless of their penury will save fruits which are meant to be sold in order to buy food for their families as gifts for their teachers. The teachers are strict and sometimes impose corporal punishment which many parents support and children felt embarrassed to have been so badly punished. They keep such punishments away from the knowledge of their parents who themselves will even punish their children further for letting them down.

In the West where many parents are actually unfit to be parents and children have everything in the world, children are treated like kings and allowed to rule the roost unchallenged. Some of their helicopter parents do not even attend parents’ evenings and meetings and do not know what their children are doing at school but once their children runs home with complaints about teachers they land on the school with all sorts of complaints without bothering to know what their children may have done and even taking schools to court for things which in Africa parents would be ashamed of.

Of course there is need to protect children from animals who prey on children but there is no justification for not raising our children properly and letting them constitute dangers to teachers and other students. I know that this might sound cruel but my philosophy is if you cannot raise children, do not have them. The world has enough dangerous animals and can do without you adding to our problems. You cannot selfishly and recklessly enjoy conjugal bliss without being ready to deal with the consequences of enjoying it without protection which is very free in the West.

As a growing child I had watched mad women look after their children on the streets. Taking such children away from them was the most difficult thing for “Mother Theresas of Africa” like my grandmother who would try to save the children from being fed rubbish and water from gutters and drains. Many people in the West are quick to hand over their children to the authorities showing how little they understand the joy of being parents and the sacrifices that come with them.  I really think that many people should go to parenting classes before they think about having children so that if they cannot handle the responsibilities, they might as well not bother. Children need love. It’s only a child who does not have or feel love who can take another’s life. I feel sorry for such kids and think that as a society we should do more to save them from themselves and from harming others. In this particular killing, we have failed the child and the teacher has paid the supreme price for the failure of his parents.

Apart from some “wannabe” over bloated Nigerian/African kids many of whom unfortunately are being raised with illicit money stolen from the people by their parents who sadly have on them and their families the curses of other long suffering, repressed, oppressed and badly disillusioned parents: the killing of teachers is not something traditional to Africa. In my part of the world when I was growing up, the teacher was worshiped and revered by parents and students alike.

For strong, fearless and naturally rebellious souls like me who during my secondary school days could not resist cartooning teachers for fun and instigating the occasional riots, ambush and thorough beating of some senior students who were considered overbearing (I was a good and bad student), we were always ready to pay the price for defending our rights and those of the most vulnerable among us.

Despite my boldness and readiness to take on any student no matter how big they were despite my skinny tiny frame, my scariest thing was ever being reported to teachers. I once slept on a tree top to avoid being badly canned by a teacher I cartooned because he was rumoured to have beaten his wife who was also my class mate and a very lovely quiet woman.  I thought that she needed to be defended. I could not beat up the teacher and used what I had which was my ability to write cartoons in those days. I paid the price. I recall once being sent home to call my parents for telling a teacher that he did not know what he was teaching because what I read was different from what he was teaching. I was scared out of my wits but had no choice than to go and get my dad not my gran who would have beaten me to a pulp for letting her down. He refused to come with me but was begged to go by one of my uncles who never believed that \i was capable of anything wrong because he loved me beyond words. I was his princess and by his own mad standards the sort of girl our family needed to defend ourselves from people who dared try us.. He reluctantly followed me. There was total silence in the car. On arrival he listened to everything they told him. He did not even ask me what happened but apologised and gave undertaking that it would not happen again. It did not end there because the teachers punished me for days and other children were warned not to play with me. I learnt from that an never ever challenged any teacher even when I knew that I was bored because I did not like wasting time listening to things I already knew. I had no choice than to behave myself as otherwise I risked punishment and alienation from other students which was difficult.

We were bad but none of us would have ever thought of answering back a teacher or even attacking them. We ran at the sight of our teachers and killing them would have been the gravest sin of all. In fact that was never thought of and would never have been forgiven by our parents many of whom would have disowned us.

I think that parents in the UK and West must take more responsibility for their children’s actions. Spend more time with their children and seek help if they cannot control them because of the influence of the society. Teachers are meant to teach your children not raise them for you. Seek help if you need it but do not let your children be dangers to other people.

May this lady’s soul rest in peace?

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