Two students were reportedly tied to makeshift crosses and flogged with horsewhips in the town of Ayetoro, northwest of Lagos, Nigeria.
Showing up late for school.
Photos of the incident show a girl and a boy, arms spread wide, tied tightly to branches, made to look like crucifixes. Apparently, the duo was whipped by their teacher outside of the school last week.
An officer and his friend came to the rescue of the students when they saw them tied up and being beaten. However, they were told not to interfere and the officer’s friend was reportedly beaten up as well.
“When I tried to untie the pupils, the proprietor and his teachers beat me up,” said the officer, according to Nigerian newspaper Punch. “Before I returned from picking handcuffs from my car, they had grabbed a friend who was with me… and beaten him up with a horsewhip.”
The officer then had to call for back-up.
“They were tied to a wooden trees made to look like a crucifix when a policeman on patrol saw them. They told the principal and the school proprietor to untie them and they refused. They even beat one of the people who intervened,” Abimbola Oyeyemi, Ogun State police spokesman told CNN.
The spokesman also described the incident as a “barbaric act.”
In the aftermath, three people, including the school’s principal, owner and a teacher, were arrested and charged with intention to cause grievous bodily harm and assault.
Nigeria is not in the list of 60 countries which have banned the use of corporal punishment. Many schools in the country exercise corporal punishment on students, including slapping, flogging and punching, as a means to discipline them. However, there is evidence such punitive measures have increasingly negative outcomes on children.
International organization have been calling for corporal punishment to be banned in Nigeria, however, the problem doesn’t just exist there. UNICEF estimates around 300 million children worldwide between the age of 2 and 4 receive experience violent discipline from their parents or guardians regularly.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham