Giant Bullies

This post is inspired by the fact that it is being written as part of a new series I’m introducing on my blog,  #ThrowbackThursdays where every Thursday I bring you a story from my past.

Today’s story comes from September 1987  when a batch of 189  students were admitted into Ghana Secondary Technical School as freshmen. Ranging from between 10-18 years, the younger ones were easy prey for the seniors in school. This was especially true because we were so tiny and as such were easily bullied.

Interestingly the first few days we were even bullied by our own mates and it took a few days for us to reckon that they were freshmen like us. This is because we were the last batch of the Middle School Leaving system so we had to enter school with older guys who were more technically inclined and they formed the core of the 18 year olds.

In our system freshmen were admitted and got to school about a fortnight before the continuing students came to school but some seniors especially perfects were around to help with orientation for freshmen. But some of the seniors were not prefects and they were there to fleece the freshmen of whatever they could get from us being as innocent and naive as we were.

Thus began the nights of being rudely awakened at night to stand by your chop boxes for inspection. Every time they came some Freshers lost a tin of something, milk or sardine, and those who didn’t have were made to feel like they had the worst coming to them when school reopened. The givers were promised protection against bullies and were convinced it was the good seniors we were interacting with during those first days.

One particular senior with a crazy cut hairstyle introduced himself as Bob Satan, would come to the Freshers dorm at nee hours with a large jute sack and wake everyone up for inspection of boxes. By te time he left, about some two hours later,that jute sack was full. And he kept coming almost every other day for the 12 days we were in school before the school actually reopened.

How could Bob Satan be good and claim that he would be a protector against the other seniors. During orientation Bob Satan will be around to scare us that if we didn’t give him our food we were going to do the hardest menial jobs around the compound when school reopened and he could ask the prefects in charge to be lenient to those he liked.

So yes we endured this for days not only from Bob Satan but other seniors like him until the day we were all assembled together as freshmen in the school  assembly hall for our various houses and classes to be allocated to us. It was on this day that we had the revelation that even some of the “seniors” who had been bullying us the smaller ones were our own mates, Freshers like us, from another dorm who had taken advantage of the situation and also joined in the fray to bully us.

For what we did to them in retaliation, that will come in another chapter of this bullying chronicles.

After that assembly, we were grouped into classes from Form 1 A to D based on our physical sizes. We stood in one long single file and the headmaster just used a cane to divide the classes and took down names. Obviously some aspects of this was hilarious because you found an older student but due to his diminutive structure in the same class with ten and eleven year olds who were full of mischief and very boisterous.

Furthermore it was obvious that  the A class will be more fun than the D class because that was where mischief dwelled.

It was also at the same assembly that we were assigned to our various dormitories: eight in all – from Richie to Einstein.

School reopened with the regular and continuing students trooping in and then we were anxious to see if all the stories we heard about bullying in secondary school was true. We had just encountered seniors like Bob Satan and even some of our own mates. Were we prepared for what lay ahead of us?

For now we had survived the first wave of bullying. With school in earnest and all freshmen in our respective dormitories, we would meet different seniors and different treatments will be meted according to which dorm you were in.

Next week the story continues…

#ThrowbackStories
#HighSchoolChronicles
#BullyingMustStop

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