She strode into the classroom, her long robes making a snapping sound. Her face was white and pinched. Everyone fell silent. It was going to be a hard day with Sister Mary. As the day went on, tension choked all sound. She asked one of the orphanage girls a question, a question she knew the girl couldn't answer. We all knew she couldn't answer it.
Suddenly, she swooped down on her prey with an audible sigh of relief. She caught her by her cropped hair and pulled her up to the blackboard. She began to bang her head against the blackboard, over and over and over again. The only sound in the room was that of skull on wood.
All at once I found myself standing, roaring STOP!
The other pupils stared at me in horror.
Sister Mary released the girl who slumped to the floor.
HOW DARE YOU MARTINE BRENNAN!
HOW DARE YOU!
GO STAND IN THE CORNER!
Another pupil was dispatched to the Principal's office. The Principal arrived and there was a furious, hissed conversation in the corridor. The Principal told me to return to stand at my desk. I stood at my desk shaking with fear. She insisted I apologise to Sister Mary for breaching discipline.
'I apologise' I said in fear and obedience ...and in a whisper, 'but I am not sorry.'
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Both the nuns described above have since died. But their bullying has not...
All the nuns in our school took Mary as their first name.
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