How past bullying complaints at Dowen College led to inaccurate claims about Sylvester Oromoni’s death

On several occasions, Downen Collegea boarding school in the affluent Lekki area of ​​Lagos state, has been accused of harboring teenage bullies who bully their peers in their dormitories. The school was also accused of poor supervision and failure to punish students who had bullied other students. The school’s failure to address these complaints decisively, in part, led to claims that Sylvester Oromoni, a student at the school, died of injuries he sustained after being attacked by thugs who tried to force him to join a secret cult, PREMIUM TIMES can report. This claim was first made by Sylvester Oromoni Snr, father of the deceased, who still insists his son was bullied many times before he died. Oromoni relied on a statement that, according to him, his son made moments before he died. Although Mr. Oromoni alleged that the torture inflicted on his son by five school children led to his death, an earlier investigation by this newspaper found that Sylvester died due to his parents’ preference for miraculous healing rather than orthodox medical treatment, and failure. of a doctor who later attended him to properly diagnose his ailment. In addition, the results of medical examinations prior to his death and subsequent independent autopsies performed on the decedent showed that the soccer-loving student had no physical injuries suggesting he had been physically bullied or abused. unanswered complaints One such bullying complaint that the school did not address was made by Sylvester’s sister, Amanda Oromoni, who was also a student at the school. According to Mr. Oromoni, her son, before the recent controversial incident, accused three boys of beating and asked him to describe her own sister’s private parts. “He told them that he had seen his sister’s nudity but that he couldn’t describe it to them,” Oromoni recalled. “Based on that, my daughter complained to the school authority and even wrote a statement about it. She had even complained to a senior teacher at the school, Mr. Adeyemi, who promised to address the matter but never did.” “My daughter insisted that she was going to call her father; she was worried that her brother would not be safe at school but begged her not to call me. They said ‘aren’t you a Christian? Why do you have to tell your father about this? If they had continued with this incident, maybe this other one would not have happened,” she added. When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Jerry Adeyemi, a senior teacher at the school, he admitted that he was aware of the matter. However, he insisted that the children involved in the affair were grounded for two weeks. When asked to describe the type of punishment they received, he promised to return to this newspaper, but he did not. “The sister was not only aware that the children, especially Benjamin Favor (one of the five students accused of physically abusing Sylvester), was punished,” he said. “In fact, the boy was specially punished for two weeks; his roommates were there, they can testify.” But the school management seems to be unaware of this serious incident. In an interview with Channels, Folarin Shobo, a member of the university’s advisory board, said there was no such report of bullying as Mr Oromoni claims. “There has been a thorough investigation and, as far as we know as an institution, there was no case of harassment,” he said. “There are no reported cases from any quarter. Dowen is seriously opposed to bullying. Any reported case is taken very seriously. The school has zero tolerance for bullying.” Dowen College bans bullying but bullies remain In a code of conduct manual seen by PREMIUM TIMES, Dowen College really frowns on bullying among students. “You are not allowed to use abusive words, fight, bully another student, or be aggressive,” the handbook said in parts. However, a review of this newspaper revealed that several reported cases of bullying at the school were treated lightly or simply ignored. At a zoom meeting organized in December 2021 by a network of concerned parents and educators, a mother, a fair-skinned woman, claimed that her son was harassed and beaten. At the meeting, a former Dowen College teacher, identified simply as Samuel, said he resigned from the school due to a lack of proper supervision of students. “From the first day the kids were moved from the rented building to the permanent shelter, it was a ticking time bomb to wait,” he said of Dowen College. “I finally gave up. I got out of there and went to Atlantic Hall because of that situation. Children are not well guarded. I shouldn’t say so much about a place I’m not working at.” Mr. Samuel was brought in by the aggrieved woman who reprimanded him for not disclosing such information to the public prior to the recent tragic event at the school. “Why did you stick with this for nine years and then drop out of school?” she asked, narrating how her son was filmed while he was being bullied. “My son was a victim. They did exactly what Sylvester did to my son. They turned off the light; they hit him; they were dancing around; They put a box on his head, seven of them. They forced my son to kneel; they put a suitcase on his head; they danced around him like an acoustic thing.” Several weeks after the Zoom meeting video went viral online, Dowen College failed to debunk the claims made by Mr. Samuel and the angry mother who claimed her son was also bullied like Sylvester. However, in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Adeyemi, a representative from the school, said that the woman exaggerated the story that her son was being bullied. “I know the woman and I know the case,” the lead teacher said. “The boy was not actually hit; he was made to kneel and made to carry something. But he was not hit. But he didn’t like what he saw, no mother will like him. She just said everything she said to exaggerate a little bit to attract feelings.” advertisements Adeyemi claimed the students were suspended and their phones confiscated because they “were not supposed to have phones with them in the first place.” “Sometimes when you punish and don’t let the parent of the person being harassed know about it, they may not realize it,” she added. Meanwhile, for several weeks, this newspaper has requested records of disciplinary actions taken against students for bullying their peers, but none of the school representatives were willing to provide them. Mr. Adeyemi stated that the records are kept under lock and key at the school and no one has access to them. On the claim that Sylvester was bullied, staff members familiar with the structure of the school’s dormitories told this newspaper that there was no way Sylvester had been beaten as his father described and that at least two or three students did not know. “We asked the students in the room where they said it really happened,” Adeyemi said. “We also interviewed fellow hostels, but they all said that he was not bullied.” He said that Dowen College could not have sacrificed 495 students for just five students accused of bullying. “Does that make any sense at all?” she asked. “But they want to force us to accept that these guys did it while they didn’t.” “If these students were found guilty of bullying the child, we would have fired them and they would have gone to another school. But we cannot punish them for a crime they did not commit,” he added. Adeyemi insisted that some of the students accused of hitting Sylvester were not even in school at the time of the incident. “Two of the students aren’t even boarding, they come home daily and one of them goes home weekly every Friday,” he said. “One of them is autistic and I teach him. He is in my class, he hardly speaks. Although he is smart, he barely gets along with anyone. There is another tall one who is very tame and is the youngest among them.” When Mr. Adeyemi was asked by this reporter to reveal the names of the accused non-inmate students for proper verification of his claims, he declined and declined to comment further. “It’s a lie. That school is very porous and any student can come in at any time to do anything,” Mr. Oromoni said, responding to Mr. Adeyemi’s claims. Sylvester’s parents insist their son should not be taken to hospital — Dowen College At Dowen College, sick students with critical health conditions are taken to nearby Lifeline Children Hospital, which is just “a three-minute drive from the school’s premises in Lekki,” PREMIUM TIMES was told. When contacted, a representative from the hospital, who simply identified himself as Ayo, said that a number of sick pupils at the school had been referred to them for proper medical care. However, the school said permission is required from parents before taking their children to the hospital after they might have received first aid treatment in the school infirmary. The school also said Syvelster’s case was not an emergency when it was released to her parents. “We asked the parents if we should take their son to the hospital and they said no,” said Dowen College’s Adeyemi. “We could not have acted against the wishes of the parents.” Mr. Oromoni did not respond to phone calls to clarify whether his family told the school not to take his son to hospital. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; How past bullying complaints at Dowen College led to inaccurate claims about Sylvester Oromoni’s death