School – The place of Horrification

I have never felt happy about going to elementary school when I was a kid. Everything was just chaos there. We had students 5 years older than me in the classrooms and whenever they make troubles, everyone in class pay the price and get punished. It was impossible to pass a week without being beaten up by them or by any of our teachers. Wallah I have never forgot the face of my Arabic teacher when he screamed at my face like  crazy because I forgot my homework. I remember his steps as he came closer to me, held my hands and started beating me using his bamboo*  I cried and begged him for a mercy and forgiveness at that time but he didn’t even look at my eyes.  Anyway, I still hear stories similar to my story even in the present time.

Children are exposed to sex harassment in school from their teacher and other students of a higher grade. I remember when I was a kid, one of my classmate was receiving love letters from religion teacher! It was obvious to know what the teacher was going after. The teacher touched the student one time inappropriatly. My classmate told his parents and they came to school and asked to ban the teacher from teaching. The teacher end up teaching another classroom without facing any charges. We hear so many disturbing stories about children being beaten up or sexually harassed by their teacher or other students in school but we never take action because we always like to wait until we see the problem fall on our own children. Until that happen to any of our children, we shouldn’t be worried, should we?

Chaotic School:

My experience in elementary and intermediate school wasn’t pleasant at all. I struggled a lot in understanding kids at my age. Teachers weren’t encouraging the open discussion and critical thinking.  The environment was really chaotic, student screams and make noises during the lunch break or in any absent of the teachers. Noise was my biggest weakness. I would rather be killed and tortured thousands time than living in noisy and chaotic place.

Notes:

* Bamboo was  commonly used by teacher to beat  and hit students’ hands when forgot the homework

– Since schools are segregated I have no information about sex harassment in Girl school. I am trying to find some women who can talk about their experience when they were in the elementary or intermediate school.

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11 thoughts on “School – The place of Horrification

  1. Pari

    Now I know where the idea of “raising social awareness” about certain things is coming from, Murtadha

  2. Countrygirl

    The school is segregated even in elementary one!!!

    I think you are doing a great job but i think i will take a lot of time about raising social awarness…

    Here in Italy in the last several years there’s growth of news regarding kids molested, I don’t think it is due to an incread of perverted but simply on a raised social awarness on the subject, more parents are willig to put on justice the perverted compared to the past where it was something not to put on the sun’s light

  3. I wanted to write about this particular topic for some time now. In the end, I decided to include it in a novel I’m working on at the moment and which I don’t think I’d ever finish.
    since I’ve lost hope in completing that novel, I’m welling to post my experience in girls’ schools after I’m done with my exams as a reply or a continuation to your experience.
    It’s a bit similar to yours, and what made it all the more horrifying was the fact that the school is situated in a town where little supervision is provided. I usually refer to it as a military camp rather than a school
    till I write about it, take care

  4. Pari, thank you

    Countrygirl,
    yes, even kids are segregated from the elementary school.
    Sex harassment exists in everywhere but the problem we have here in Saudi is that people don’t like to admit that it is there. this why the number of sexual abuse has been increased over the past five years.. people simply are ignoring the problem.
    Your example of italy is a perfect one showing how people there become more aware than in the past about the problem and started taking action

  5. magicrealism,
    I am really eager to know more about your novel! i really think that your work in novel is very important and could make some change in the society..so I hope you gain more strength and power to complete it.
    Meanwhile, i would like to hear your experience about such an issue. I have been trying to find someone for so long to share her experience from her side of world and i am happy that i found you.

  6. Hala

    Dear Murthadha,
    I didn’t have a good expeience at my school while I was growing up, “Dull and worrisome” are the correct words, I hated school. I was always training myself to bear the long hours of routines and the constant fear of unexpected bursts of angers or hitting from teachers on somethings that I didn’t remeber to do or memorize, beside that we did have less harassment from the sexual side as girls, we never experince frankly these things, I would guess that these are much more horrific on the boys side, as girls we were bullied for other stuff like social status, appearance, accents among other superficial things… we did hear the stories of sexual abuses from other girls from time to time but that was about it, we were mostly in tightly controlled prisons from sunrise to noon, and I was at a private Islamic school, I would expect the situation would’ve been much worse in public schools…

  7. Dear Hala,
    Thank you for sharing your experience here. Based on what i learned from your story and people stories, I think girls aren’t exposed to sex harassment as much as guys on the school. But i think both guys and girls face the same struggles and challenges in school as if the way teacher communicate and punish and the way the whole system work.

  8. Mahla

    I wasn’t physically beaten in school here in the United States, but I endured a lot of emotional torment and abuse. It certainly influenced my personality and later progress in life. What I went through in elementary school, even more than high school, deeply affected my life for a long, long time. So I admire your success, even if the abuse and chaos helpless children are subjected to can never be entirely put behind them. “School — the place of Horrification.” A very sad, very true statement.

  9. I have studied in both Canada and in Saudi Arabia and I must honestly say that I’ve preferred studying in Saudi Arabia.

    Don’t get me wrong, studying in Canada was great and all but I always felt that their was more of a bullying problem in Canada then in Saudi Arabia.

    However, I didn’t even see a problem in teachers hitting students, infact the whole class would burst out laughing when it happened, even the guy who got beaten (after he stopped wincing from the pain of course)

    As for sexual harassment, I’ve never heard of anyone close to me who was ever sexually harassed by a teacher.

    Simply put, we can’t rely on anecdotal evidence to gauge the extent of sexual harassment in Saudi Schools.

  10. Chiara

    Mrthada–this is an important topic and thank you for tackling it. I would imagine there is variance from one school to the next, since often abuse is tolerated or fostered from the leadership of the school. The classic solution has been to reassign the teacher to a different school in the same system, or in a private school to a different grade level. As others have mentioned all forms of abuse, emotional, physical and sexual tend to have a lasting impact.

    Mohamed S–I am curious as to your experience in vCanada, since bullying is a problem especially in certain schools in major cities but is being addressed very actively now. I do have “brown” (as they call themselves)friends of whatever origin (Arab, Indian, Hispanic, mulatto) who depending on when they arrived in Canada (or their age and being raised here) got routinely abused as being “Paki” for example (none of the ones I know are), the girls psychologically , the boys physically. Schools in certain areas of Toronto are facing gang violence and shootings/stabbings. Certain areas of Montreal are very problematic as well. Both are major immigration cities. Sad, to say the least.

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