The Management of Chrisland Schools, Lagos, has stressed that “no rape or administration of pregnancy test took place on our watch”. It was reacting to reports on certain developments bordering on the morals and ethics of some of the students that represented the group of schools at the World School Games in Dubai between 8 and 14 of March 2022. The school management has reiterated that the welfare and wellbeing of the children in their care remains their priority.
The management of the school in a statement signed by a member, Advisory Board of the school, Akin Fadeyi, on Tuesday, stated that while the school understands the emotions the matter has generated, it assures the public that its first approach as an institution was to assume parental roles by offering support to those involved and ensuring that nothing affected their senses of esteem.
The school added that, “however, after a comprehensive evaluation of the situation, we cannot help but express how scandalised and distressed we feel as mothers, fathers and instructors with a relationship that holds a direct bearing on the development of those involved.
“Nonetheless, we took a critical view of the number of students who partook in this recent trip and who did the school proud in our quest to expand the horizons of our students holistically through global exposure, which takes into account a wholesome development of the mind, body and spirit through sporting engagements.
“Of the 76 children who represented Chrisland, 71 ensured an untainted adherence to our standards, abiding with laid down regulations and code of conduct, while doing us very proud in the process. Within these 71, we kept our girls on the 11th floor and boys on the fourth floor to draw clear lines that respect moral boundaries.
“We were however, compelled to engage with the parents of the remaining students who unfortunately got themselves involved in misconduct, and in accordance with our code of conduct processes, which are well known to the parents, we meted out measured reprimands to them to instil a sense of discipline and as deterrence to others. This was also to caution our students on the need to remain on the path of resisting wrong influences.
“The disciplinary action was in order not to undermine our cohesive culture as a community of future leaders and committed instructors, but to be assertive in handing down the sort of discipline that seeks to correct and reform our children, when they stray from the path of rectitude.”
Chrisland explained while it hastens to affirm that as an institution that is managing children from diverse backgrounds, it cannot lay claim to or embark on any sense of self-righteousness in its approach, adding that “we learn and evolve within the frames of best practices every single day.
“As such, as we recognise that there will always be space for improvement, we are therefore irrevocably committed to re-evaluating our processes to reinforce child protection protocols, even as we shall leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the senses of esteem of the children involved are uncompromisingly preserved. We have activated child protection processes and shall be engaging the expertise of child psychologists to ensure we translate this incidence to benefit the children in our care.
“We are therefore not going to give room to sentiments that adopt less empathy in terms of the effects of the present situation on our children. We implore all of us as stakeholders to work together as build-up partners, rather than pull-down enablers. For every comment we make in this delicate period, we should remember that those involved are children and as such, they deserve our very responsible management of this situation in order not to affect their mental health, as we seek to clear this temporary fog in the path of their growth.
“This is why irrespective of currently charged emotions, we need to endeavor to keep our heads in focus, while carrying the authorities along in manners that leave nothing hidden, especially as we had nothing to hide. We are proud to reassure our stakeholders that no rape of anyone or the administration of a pregnancy test on any child took place on our watch.
“For emphasis, only a COVID post travel test was conducted on the returning delegation of our students, in compliance with COVID-19 travel protocols at the Life Centre Medical Services on March 21, 2022 at School Hall, Opebi. This was through the nose swab test as consistent with COVID-19 health protocols. We trust that this can be verified at the source provided. To insinuate that a pregnancy test was carried out on a student, for whatever reason therefore, is a highly unfortunate conjecture.”
“Nevertheless, our processes would be readily opened up for the scrutiny of regulators and stakeholders at the earliest indication of this, to enable the course of scientific or forensic inspections. We are certain this will lay to rest any shred of doubt or hazy optic that the present flurry of activities might have occasioned,” the school said
The school concluded by reassuring parents and guardians that it takes unequivocal cognisance of the duty of care entrusted on the school and would never betray it as they are more than ever resolved to work harder at keeping and building the trust reposed in them.
“We refuse to indulge in or give credence to the sentimental contrivances seeking to fuel this crisis the more with various renditions that have taken over the social media space. The only account we are obligated to render is how well the children entrusted in our care have been managed, as we have excelled in doing in this past 45 years of our existence as an educational institution, and to ensure that in this whole development, the only winners here shall be this children,” the school concluded.