Twelve-year-old Oladimeji Elujoba kept getting into fights at Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown. Every time the teacher took attendance in the morning, she would stumble over his polysyllabic name and inadvertently elicit jeers and giggles from his classmates.
“I’m not the kind of person to watch people laugh at me,” Elujoba, now 17, says matter-of-factly.
And so he fought. He fought so much he got in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, after-school detentions. His parents, Ruth and Olalekan Elujoba, worried.
“One of the teachers in the middle school called me,” Olalekan Elujoba recalls. “They had suspended him and said that if I don’t take any action on this, I will spoil the boy’s future. I couldn’t sleep that night.”