Guilty till proven innocent?


Some time ago there was a dramatic episode in the staff room. One of my colleagues broke down when she could not submit her marks on time. She claimed a student damaged her laptop when she stepped out of class. And because of that, she lost all her data and so she failed that student.

Fast forward one year and I now teach this class. They are my Engineering boys. In the beginning, I told myself to be wary of the accused culprit. He wasn’t exactly a very participative and attentive boy, but I didn’t have any problems with him. When he was in class, he always did his work.

Last week, my supervisor told me to get this boy into the office because we got to help him pass that module he failed. Otherwise, he will not be able to graduate at the end of the year.

“Teacher, I really did not damage the laptop. I refused to say that I did it, so that teacher failed me,” he explained to me.

I decided it was not for me to judge who was telling the truth. All I wanted to do was to help this boy clear all the assignments required to pass that subject.

Do you judge a person by the way he behaves with you, or what you hear from others?

Due to the lack of time, we gave him only 3 days to complete the assignments, including a report and PowerPoint presentation. Amazingly as promised, he delivered his work today. And it was not bad at all.

I got a text message from him shortly afterward.

“Thanx alot for helping me. I really appreciate it alot. Thank you, teacher.”

It came as a surprise. I didn’t expect him to thank me. I don’t normally get words of appreciation from students who maintain a clean record, let alone from one whose behaviour is in question. So when I saw that message, I really didn’t know what to think.

Has he repented? He has realised his mistakes? Maybe he really never did it. Was he maligned? Or he’s just a smooth talker?

I guess all the above are unimportant. What’s important is, the boy found help and support in us when he desperately needed it.

Which reminds me again why I am doing what I am doing.  

Explore posts in the same categories: School

3 Comments on “Guilty till proven innocent?”

  1. fefe Says:

    You have just touched another person in your search for living a meaningful life. Congratulations and I’m so proud of you 🙂

  2. Mel Says:

    Great job cher!

  3. tsl Says:

    i guess we gotta make judgement on one’s character based on our own assessment of the person, rather than on another person’s assessment. The way we see a person differs from person to person, becoz we are all different!! 🙂


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