21st March 2019
Both Paul and I received a text message from Jordan today that he had scored 77% on his Mid Year Maths Exam and we were both happy for him. (Our rule is that he has to start going for extra classes after school if he gets lower than 70 for any of his 8 IGCSE subjects – so now he is elated that he doesn’t have to do extra Maths – and can fritter away his time playing football, going to the gym and hanging out with friends instead!)
However, before we knew it another disaster had occurred in the High School. Two of my fourth formers came running up to me looking deathly pale and blurting out that they were going to be expelled from school. I was completely gobsmacked and for a moment wondered if they were pulling my leg, then realised that they were in shock and had begun trembling like leaves in the harmattan wind.
It turned out that they had been spotted by a staff member in the company of another friend who was smoking cannabis in a secluded corner of the school. They urged me to go and look in on their friend who was still detained in the Principal’s office. To my horror, I realised that the person they were talking about happened to be possibly the brightest, most motivated and most able student in my English class. A fine, sensitive boy with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, he had become one of my favourites ever since I had had a showdown with the whole lot of them about a month after I began teaching their class in September 2018.
E-Boy was a gentle rebel who wore a variety of hoodies, loved reggae and hip hop, produced beautiful pieces of writing and was a fan of the Jamaican singer Popcaan whom he once delivered a fluent 3-minute talk on in front of the class ending with his hit song ‘Weed is My Best Friend’.
Although I appealed earnestly for leniency on behalf of him, the Head said that his hands were tied since all students had signed the school’s Code of Conduct which stipulated the punishment of expulsion for a list of activities – a list that was headed by the violation of the rules that he had just committed -ie – the possession and use of marijuana on the school premises. I had to leave the administration building then to be on time for my Form 4 English class and by the end of that lesson, Paul hurried upto my class to give me the bad news that E-Boy had indeed been expelled from the school.
I was completely gutted when I heard it and spent the day in deep mourning for this exceptional young man who was such a gifted learner and a real pleasure to have in class.
I will miss him terribly and find it hard to imagine Marina School without him there.