Following the dispute generated by an “immoral act” in which the students of the school were involved during the school’s participation in the World School Games in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Chrisland Schools, in the State of Lagos, has denied allegations that a 10-year-old sixth grader was raped.
The student (name withheld) was among 76 students who represented the school at the event, which was held March 8-14, 2022.
In a statement by Chrisland Schools Advisory Board member Akin Fadeyi, titled “The children of Chrisland remain our focus,” said 71 of the students were strictly adhering to school standards.
“Within these 71, we have kept our girls on the 11th floor and the boys on the 4th floor to draw clear lines that respect moral boundaries.
“We have, however, been obliged to engage with the parents of the remaining students who have unfortunately become involved in misbehaviour, and in accordance with our code of conduct processes, which are well known to parents, we have given them measured reprimands to instill a sense of discipline and deterrence for others.
“We are proud to reassure our stakeholders that no rape of anyone or the administration of a pregnancy test to a child has occurred under our watch. To emphasize, only a COVID test post-travel was conducted on our students’ returning delegation, in accordance with COVID-19 travel protocols at Life Center Medical Services on March 21, 2022, at School Hall, Opebi.
“This was done through the nasal swab test, in accordance with COVID-19 health protocols. We hope this can be verified at the source provided,” the statement added.
The statement came after a video clip of two students at the school involved in what the school authority called “sexual misconduct” was shared on Twitter by an unknown user.
In a letter written to the student’s parents and signed by the school’s principal, GI Azike, said she had been suspended for “sexual misconduct”.
THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER understood that the students were engaged in a game called “Truth or Dare”, when the act was committed under cover of night.
“A full-scale investigation was carried out and the parents of all guilty learners were duly informed of the necessary punishment meted out to the learners.
“We cannot, as a school, tolerate this. Therefore, (the female victim) is hereby placed on indefinite suspension until you as parents ensure that she is punished, properly counseled and rehabilitated,” the letter read in part. .
In a quick reaction, the student’s mother, in an 11-minute music video released early Monday by showbiz personality Ubi Franklin, said school management only informed her that her daughter had kissed a student at a meeting.
The distressed mother said that after the meeting with management she heard nothing from the school until after three weeks, when a teacher sent her a Zoom link inviting her to another meeting .
“We had this meeting (involving) the board. One of them said his name was Akin. He led the meeting and began by saying that if there is no sin there will be no forgiveness and spoke in parables.
“I had to ask what they were talking about and he said they just wanted to follow up if I took my daughter’s phone out and check how she was and I said she was fine.
“But he made a comment that ‘when it happened’ and I asked what happened, and he asked if she hadn’t told me and I said no, she didn’t. didn’t. So I started yelling at them to tell me what happened and they said no.
“So, we have finished the meeting. The next day, a mother called me and told me she needed to see me urgently. I had to go to her house and she showed me the video and said all the parents knew about it,” she added.
She said her immediate reaction was to call one of the teachers at the school, who did not return her calls, but when the teacher finally picked up she denied knowing about the incident.
The victim’s mother said she then decided to punish her daughter in order to force her to speak.
She said, “While we were beating her, she begged to talk to me and said a teacher threatened her not to talk. She talked about how it happened, how they left them at the hotel, how the school left them, and how she got into this thing that’s happening now.
“They had meetings, sending delegates from their headquarters to have meetings with my daughter without my consent. Every day when she goes to school, I will force her out. They took her for a pregnancy test without our knowledge and lied to us saying they were taking her for a COVID test.
“Are they using blood or urine samples for the COVID test? And I didn’t know until this thing happened. Because we started confronting them, they sent him a suspension letter. I am begging Nigerians to help me because Chrisland was trying to hide this problem and keep us out of the way and my daughter was going mentally crazy.
Meanwhile, the Lagos state government said a full-scale investigation had begun into the matter, saying all Chrisland schools in the state had been closed.
“In view of the allegations, we are committed to ensuring that adequate medical and psychosocial support is provided. This is to reassure members of the public of the state government’s commitment to the safety and protection of children, in particular by ensuring that all child-centred institutions within the State formulate and implement policies and systems consistent with Executive Order (NO.EO/AAO8 of 2016), Lagos State Child Safeguarding and Protection Programme.
“We are also using this medium to remind the general public of the implications of any visual depiction of sexually explicit behavior involving a child, committing an offense and carrying a 14-year custodial sentence. This includes producing, distributing, receiving and possessing a child pornography image.
“In the meantime, all schools in Chrisland in Lagos State are closed pending further investigations,” the statement read in part.
In a statement, State Police Commissioner Abiodun Alabi, released by the command’s spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, also said the command had opened an investigation into the matter.
He said: “The command has opened investigations into the matter with a view to establishing the identity of the players in the video, the real incident in the video, the geographical location of the incident, the alleged threat to life against a student at the school and the circumstances surrounding the alleged repeated pregnancy tests performed on a student without her parents’ consent.
“Command also takes cognizance of the cybercrime angle throughout the episode and would not hesitate to seek Interpol’s support should the need arise. For a comprehensive and impartial investigation, the command should work with relevant ministries, departments, agencies and non-governmental organizations. »
A senior lawyer from Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, said, “The decision by the Lagos State government to close the school is commendable. A thorough and rapid investigation into the immoral act should be carried out with a view to sanctioning the teachers who did not provide effective supervision of the students during the trip to the United Arab Emirates.
“In particular, the mother’s allegation that her daughter was subjected to pregnancy tests without parental consent should be forwarded to the police for investigation and possible prosecution,” he added.