Bullied student flees school

National, Normal


A STUDENT from a secondary school in Central fears returning to school after he was allegedly beaten up twice by fellow Grade 12 school mates last week for his refusal to buy yeast, sugar and coffee punch.
Sugar and yeast are two main ingredients commonly mixed to produce homebrewed alcohol.
According to a record of interview conducted earlier by education adviser Mesia Novau, the incident occurred after a night study on Aug 31.
Augustine Aukopi, a Grade 11 student was allegedly confronted by a senior student and his gang at Kwikila Secondary School  and was  beaten up.
Aukopi fled to a classroom where he spent the night. The next night, he was told by another Grade 12 student that one of his friends wanted to see him in the dormitory.
“They went into dorm 11 and after Aukopi sat down on the floor, the lights were switched off and he was belted up again,” the report stated.
It was also reported that while the gang’s leader instructed other students to beat him up, he demanded that Aukopi buy them yeast, sugar and coffee punch.
Aukopi out of fear gave them K10 to stop.
He was warned against reporting the incident to the school or “they would bring in outsiders to fight him”.
Fearing his life the following day, Aukopi borrowed K5 from a classmate and retreated into town where he was  nursing his injuries.
His father, Koni, in a letter dated Sept 7, said he did not agree with the view that parents were responsible for the breakdown of school discipline.
He said students spent eight hours a day at school and in a boarding school students were away from home.
“Student discipline is school’s responsibility, not parental responsibility. Parents do not operate and run the schools on daily basis. Teachers and educators must not mislead parents in this matter,” Koni said.
Acting principal Celestine Muleveca, however, was unaware of the matter saying that the matter should have been reported to the police as the student had been assaulted.
He said he was only aware of an incident that occurred last Thursday where a parent came the next day with his son requesting a transfer out of the school which was granted.
He said with the dissolving of the school board towards the end of last year following some allegations “ is not helping either”.
Muleveca said in response to such activities and the absence of the board, it was beyond his jurisdiction to do anything apart from suspending students.
However, he said was awaiting a feedback from the education office in response to a letter regarding the reinstatement of a school board to address such cases.
There had been no reported cases for assault recorded at the Kwikila police station, Sgt Mathew Kolum reaffirmed yesterday afternoon.