By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
A secondary school student, Joshua Joseph, and his parents, on Tuesday, allegedly hired thugs who invaded the Toyon High School, Ere, Ado-Odo, in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
It was gathered that three teachers were brutalised by the hoodlums, who also vandalised a vehicle in the school.
This is coming few weeks after mandatory undertaking forms were signed by parents, as part of efforts to curb such acts in the state.
It was learnt that in the last quarter of 2021, more than four teachers were beaten by students in connivance with hoodlums.
In the latest incident, the student and his parents invaded the school with thugs and inflicted injuries on three teachers.
It was gathered that Joshua had been earlier prevented from entering his classroom because of his hairstyle.
A teacher, Mr Kabir Azeez, had told him to cut his hair before entering the class.
But Joshua was said to have returned to the school with his mum and the thugs, who attacked the teachers.
“Three teachers were beaten – Messrs Abel Thomas, Kabir Azeez and Adegun Adekunle. The car that was destroyed belongs to Mr Jolayemi Sunday. One of the thugs, Posu Baale, was the one who smashed the car’s windscreen,” an eyewitness told The PUNCH.
The Vice Principal of the school, Mrs Mariam Onilogbo, confirmed the incident.
She said: “On Monday, we asked our student to go and cut his hair because the hair he brought to school was not acceptable. Yesterday (Tuesday), he came again with that same hair and we told him to go and cut the hair. I collected his bag and told him to come back after cutting the hair. Coming back to school, he came with two men and two women to accuse us that why should we ask him to go and cut his hair.
“I told them that if we could not tell him to cut his hair, all of them should leave my office. I gave them his bag and told them to go and teach him at home. They went out and I started to hear noises on the school premises. They started beating the teachers. They smashed the windscreen of a car parked in the school.
“Yesterday evening, they came to our quarters again, claiming that we stole their phone. They almost attacked us. We told them that their phone was not with us. They came to meet us again this morning, but we thank God no one was attacked.”
It was gathered that the school teachers invited the police after locking up the suspects in the computer room.
The Ogun State Police Command spokesperson, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Wednesday, said a man, Oyedele Joseph, and his wife Elizabeth Joseph, were arrested for unlawfully invading the school.
Oyeyemi said one of the teachers, Thomas, was attacked for “having the effrontery to beat their son, Joshua Joseph, an SSS3 student of the school.”
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the teacher moderately corrected an SSS3 student, Joshua Joseph, who then went home to inform his parents that he was beaten by the teacher.
“Having heard from their son, the parents, who felt that the teacher had no right to beat their son for any reason, mobilised some thugs and stormed the school.
“On getting to the school, they descended heavily on the teacher, beat and injured him.
“They also damaged the back screen of a Toyota Corolla belonging to another teacher of the school, Jolayemi Sunday.
“The injured teacher has been taken to a hospital for medical treatment,” he said.
The PPRO said the Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, has ordered that the escaped thugs who accompanied the couple to attack the school be hunted and brought to justice.
“He also directed that the arrested couple be charged to court without delay,” Oyeyemi added.