The mother of a Senior Secondary School student, Mrs Becky Folorunso, has cried out for justice after the Principal of Pholex Private School, Ebute-Meta in Lagos, allegedly brutalised her son for not writing class notes.
In an interview with on Friday, Folorunso said that was not the first time her son, Adam, would be flogged in such manner by the principal, Adewale Adetona.
Bruises suspected to be from whips could be seen on the boy’s back from pictures made available to our correspondent.
The troubled mother said while she had scolded her son and warned him to be writing his class notes, beating her child to that extent was uncalled for.
She called on relevant authorities of the Lagos State Government, particularly the State Universal Basic Education Board to intervene in the matter.
Folorunso said, “He is a playful son, but he is not a bad boy. He came home a few days ago and told me ‘Mummy, this beating is too much.’ He showed me his back and I saw bruises. But not like this very one. He said it was because he did not write one note. I scolded him and warned him to always write his notes.
“But when he came home on Thursday, May 25, he cried, ‘Mummy, I can’t take this any longer.’ When he removed his uniform and showed me his back, I was shocked and asked what happened to him. He said it was because he did not complete his Social Studies notes.”
She said her son told the principal to check well, but he wouldn’t listen to him. She said the principal began flogging the boy. “I heard he (the principal) said he knew me, but knowing me doesn’t mean he should kill my child,” the mother said.
Continuing, Folorunso recalled that she had been planning to withdraw the boy from the school following tales of alleged inhuman treatment being meted out to students before the incident.
“I didn’t know about all these stories before we registered him. How can they be running a private learning environment as if it is a public school where things like this go unpunished?” she queried.
When contacted, the school principal, Adetona, said he did not beat the child unjustly.
Speaking with our correspondent via a phone call on Friday, he said he was checking all the students’ notes to know some of them who were not writing up to date.
Adetona said, “I am a parent, I don’t beat unjustly. I know the mother very well. I noticed the boy doesn’t have a note at all. I just resumed the office (in the school) not quite long (ago). I’m searching their entire notes one after the other to know those that are not doing well. Several complaints (have) come from teachers and several warnings asking the boy to change.
“I had to beat him yesterday (Thursday). I have been warning them for over two weeks to go and update their notes.”
He said the last time the boy brought his school fees, he was the one that gave him N500 to go and pay through the Point of Sale machine so that he would not lose the money while trying to go to the bank. “I would not beat him unjustly,” he reiterated.
On his part, the school’s proprietor, Mr Foluso Akomolafe, condemned the beating of the student and apologised to the mother.
He said although the boy was not writing notes, there were other means to discipline a student.
“He (the principal) warned him (the student) that he shouldn’t do that again, that he must make sure he copies notes,” Akomolafe added, saying the school fee paid by the parents was like a waste if the student was not writing notes.
“I blamed the principal. As much as you are trying to correct the boy, you should always take it easy with them, they are children. Whatever corrective measures you want to put in place, you shouldn’t be flogging,” the proprietor told
Suggesting other ways to discipline a student, he said the student could be punished or suspended instead of flogging such a child.
“What the boy did was bad but then he could be asked to kneel or invite the parent. He was sorry about it and apologised to the mother.
“The school does not permit flogging because the Lagos State Government does not want us to flog any child, no matter the offence. We don’t support flogging. He (the principal) is a new person and had barely spent a month or two with us,” he added.