Liberia’s ‘Sex For Grades’ Epidemic Is Ruining Children’s Lives

img_0204{The Time Online} – Every time 15-year-old Sarafina (whose name has been changed for her privacy) entered math class, she braced herself for a challenge no student should have to face: her male teacher would harass her, ask her to give him “love” and touch her inappropriately.

Sarafina initially coped by pretending this was not happening; when her teacher’s advances escalated to inappropriate touching along with more assertive and frequent sexual requests, she told him to stop. But the harassment persisted, and she began skipping school for days at a time. At the end of the school year, the teacher refused to give Sarafina her report card, without which she could not move on to the next grade. Her parents kept asking her about the missing report card but, scared and ashamed, Sarafina refused to explain its absence.

Meanwhile, the teacher began to call her at home. “You are a stubborn child,” he said. “I ask you all the time to be my girlfriend, and you refuse. Unless you accept my offer, I will not give your report card to you.” Unbeknownst to him, Sarafina had decided to let her father listen in on this phone call. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

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About Cholo Brooks 16939 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.