Reviews & Profiles
What it Means To... Be bullied in school
Posted Wednesday, February 6 2013 at 00:00
I set sail to the uncharted waters of boarding school life in my secondary education. I had worked hard, read my books and finally made it on merit to one of the best schools in the land. I was excited about joining my new school.
My first day at school was long, daunting and thrilling all at the same time. I was assigned one of the best houses (read dormitory) which was to be my new home for the next four years of my course. This house had walls that had stood the test of time, they had withered many storms offering shelter and playing home to some of the most fortunate people in the country.
It was also going to be my first time to sleep outside the comfort of my parents’ home. Never in my life had I imagined that a day would come when I would be on my own, in a world filled with many my age who shared similar goals and interests.
Joining a new school can be a traumatic experience. We had to sleep in the same room with those in higher classes. Besides the differences we had, we were not to “mix levels” with those in the higher classes, -as they usually reminded us. This created grounds for bullying.
We had to do the house work and were bullied into fetching bathing water for the older boys. At times, when you fetched your water early and carefully chained the jerry can by the bed, you would find it empty. Such events were to dominate my first year at school. As time passed, we became servants to the students in higher classes; these boys never forgot to pass by our room to book us to buy them break-time snacks.
We were allowed access to our dormitories during break-time. One day, as I rushed to grab a quick snack before heading back to class, I found three boys standing by the balcony. Each one of them calling out to me to go and buy them break. I refused, and tried to avoid entering the dormitory. However, one of them kept on throwing all sorts of words and threats at me but I brushed it off and stood by my NO.
That evening, I was targeted by the same boys who had tried to force me to buy for them break. This time, they wanted to be entertained so they called us in and told us to mime for them.
Those who failed the test were made to kneel, and most of my friends failed to mime so they had to kneel. I soon joined them since I had disobeyed earlier. They scolded us and threatened to lock us out of the dormitory. One of them, a tall, dark boy with a mean looking face held my head and asked, “Who do you think you are?”
“We went through this and a lot more,” another member of the clique chipped in. At this point, I thought of reporting them to the house master. But one of them was quick to warn us against it. “Don’t even waste your time because we shall find out and deal with you accordingly.” This scared us but what pissed me off was them beating up one of us because he had failed to dance.
During our evening prep, a group of us decided to report what had happened to the house master.
The next day, he came to address the issue very early. In the small meeting, he had gathered, he called out the four senior boys we had reported and went ahead to mention the names of those who had reported the bullying incident.
This seemingly right action on his part had not only blown our cover but had also landed us in trouble with the bigger boys. The house master punished the three senior boys in front of us and left.
No sooner had he vanished from us than the senior boys came to our room spelling our doom for us. To them, we had just signed a death warrant.
These boys made it a point to make our lives especially mine a living hell. We got the worst chores and fetched their water more often. The rest of the students blamed us for the harsh treatment they got. I wanted to change to another school, but my parents would not hear of it. We endured through and soon hardened in the system. Many in my year planned to pay back on the other juniors who would be below them.
However, when I became a senior student in the school, I got a position of responsibility. I could have used it to pay back for the bullying I went through but chose to make a difference.