This is an age when very close attention should be paid to children because at this age children start school and are away from home without parental or guardian supervision.
Always ask the child about their day at school and what happened all day. Bear in mind that children tend to forget to tell you, so you must dig information out by asking. Soon it becomes a routine and the child remembers to communicate with a parent or guardian about the day’s events and activities away from home.
I am writing this because I have 1st hand experience in this. I think that it was my 2nd or 3rd grade years. At school, our teacher would set math questions on the board and ask the whole class to solve. As we sat coolly solving the math problems, the teacher would disappear with one bigger kid, a girl, in our class into an empty classroom next door. After several minutes or hours, they’d surface back into our classroom again. Our teacher would then ask everyone to submit their work at his desk. As a kid, I never understood nor thought anything of it.
One day, however, all that changed. As I approached our teacher’s desk to submit my assignment, the teacher raised his right leg under his desk and using his foot, he touched my private area. At that time, I might have been 5, 6 or 7 years old. When this teacher did that to me and being that I am and was very bold even then, I started verbally cursing the teacher as loud as I could. Nobody taught me what to do in such situations. It just came. I was that mad. I cursed him so bad and loud in the class that the other kids noticed.
The teacher, in response, chased me out of the class. From then on, each day I came to school, this crazy teacher chased me out of class, so I stood outside the class all day, by the entrance door or window outside, in order to listen to the days lessons. Occasionally, the teacher would actually approach the window or door to chase me away, and I would run only to return back when he goes in front of the class. Yes, folks, that was my daily reality for months at school. What amazed me was that I never remembered to tell my parents. I was not scared of telling them, I just forgot each day to report and I wasn’t sure it was bad. That’s amazing. Everyday, I was at school, but only remembered at school that I was actually not going into the classroom, as I should, for the day.
That taught me that children forget a lot. Yes, they really do forget things especially because they typically have short attention span in contrast to adults.
The only time that the incident came to light was at the end of the year final exams. Usually, my grades were very high and my position in the class as regards to high scores was always within the first 3. However, this particular year, I was 17th in the class and that got my dad’s attention. He asked me why my grades dropped, so I told him what happened at school with the teacher, and that all year, I was kept out of class by my teacher.
My father approached the school’s principal, the teacher was called in and there was a big conference on the matter. The teacher denied the allegations. I have no idea what eventually happened to him. Till today, I still wonder what fate befell that bigger kid in my class that the crazy teacher took with him daily into the adjacent vacant classroom for hours.
Don’t get me wrong. I had and still have wonderful teachers in my life and I owe them for my achievements. It was only that one bad egg in the bunch.
The whole idea is that we must ask children about what is going on in their lives. We need to know how their school day went, what happened at school for the day. That is part of parenting. That way, if there is an alarm, we can raise it early enough to save a child. It is good idea, to check. It is not every child that is bold enough to fend off attacks but children can be taught and guided as to how to fight back.
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