Ogun cautions schools over corporal punishment in schools

By James Ogunnaike

A student of Toyon High School, Ere, Ado-Odo, Ogun State, Joshua Joseph, prevented from attending classes because of his hairstyle, reportedly hired thugs to attack his teachers.

The student, his mother and the hired thugs were said to have stormed the school, located in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, and descended heavily on about three teachers, inflicting injuries on them.

A teacher identified as Mr Kabir Azeez told the student to go and have his hair cut before entering the classroom. But Joshua was said to have returned to the school with his mum and thugs to attack the teachers.

A reliable source told newsmen: “Three teachers, Abel Thomas, Kabir Azeez and Adegun Adekunle, were beaten. One of the thugs, Posu Baale, smashed the windscreen of Mr Jolayemi Jeromu’s car.”

Confirming the incident, the school’s Vice Principal, Mrs Mariam Onilogbo, said: “On Monday, we asked one of our students to go and cut his hair because the style was not acceptable in the school.

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“He came Tuesday with the same hair, we told him to go and cut it. I collected his bag and told him to come back after cutting the hair. Coming back to school, he came with two men and two women and accosted us on why we  asked him to go home and have a hair cut.

“I told them that if I cannot tell him to cut his hair, all of them should leave my office. I gave them his bag and told them to go and teach him morals at home. They went out and I started to hear noise within the school premises. They started beating the teachers. They smashed the windscreen of a car parked within the school.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) evening, they came to our quarters again, claiming that we stole their phone. They almost attacked us. We told them that their phone was not with us. They came to meet us again this morning (yesterday), but we thank God no one was attacked.”

Police invited

The vice principal added that the mother and one of the thugs have been arrested by the police.

It was gathered that the teachers invited the police after locking up the arrested ones in the computer room.

The development comes barely two weeks after parents had signed undertaking forms before their children were allowed into their respective classes when primary and secondary schools pupils resumed for the second term for 2021/2022 academic session.

Undertakings

It would be recalled that the state government had mandated all parents and guardians to sign an undertaking because of the ugly assault on teachers across the state by students.

In the last quarter of 2021, more than four teachers were beaten by their students and in some cases, in connivance with hoodlums, a development that had attracted criticism from stakeholders in the state.

To curb the trend, the state government introduced the signing of undertakings by parents to declare their children’s readiness for good conduct and non-violent act at the schools.

Police confirm arrests

Meanwhile, the state Police command has confirmed the arrest of the couple, Oyedele Nutai Joseph and Elizabeth Joseph, that invaded and attacked the teachers.

The police in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi,  in Abeokuta, said the suspects were arrested following a distress call received by the policemen at Ado Odo divisional headquarters that parents of one of their students were in the school with thugs and have beaten and injured one of the teachers.

Oyeyemi further said: “Upon the distress call, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Ado Odo, Arowojeun Michael, led his men to the school where the couple were arrested while their accomplices escaped.”

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the teacher, Abel Thomas, moderately corrected an SS3 student of the school, Joshua Joseph, who then went home to inform his parents that he was beaten by the teacher.

“Having heard from their son, the parents, who felt that the teacher has no right to beat their son for any reason, mobilised some thugs and stormed the school.”

“On getting to the school, they descended heavily on the teacher, beat and injured him. They also damaged the back screen of a Toyota Corolla car with number plate, LSD 395 FV, belonging to another teacher of the school, Jolayemi Sunday. The injured teacher had been taken to hospital.”

The state Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, directed that the arrested couple be charged to court without delay.

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