Anyone living in Lebanon can attest to how increasingly difficult the situation has become. Basic necessities, such as food, cleaning products, and school supplies, are getting more expensive by the day with the depreciation of the lira.
Some NGOs are lending assistance to families to help them through these harsh times with food boxes and hygiene supplies. Some are even helping with education fees so the children and youth affected by the financial crisis don’t miss their schooling.
In such cases, for the sake of good management of their donations and funds, these NGOs request that the assisted students bring them receipts from the school.
That’s what two Lebanese high-school students in a public school were trying to do when they got sidetracked by a pompous school supervisor who made them feel like beggars.
The students were well-aware that the NGO’s voucher wouldn’t amount to much. But 270,000 LL was better than nothing, “considering that the cheapest notebook now costs 30,000 LL,” one of the students said while sharing their story.
The NGO’s voucher would be of help to them and they needed it. Hence, the two friends went to school to request the receipts. While on their way to the principal’s office, they were stopped by one of the supervisors.
“What are you doing in school?” he asked. When he found out they were there for a receipt he began an unbelievable and unexpected rant.
“A receipt? What are you, Syrian refugees?” he said with a shaming look on his face.
“How could any Lebanese request a receipt for tuition that’s just 270,000 LL?” he asked as if ignorant of what’s going on in the country he lives in.
“I’ve enrolled my children in the best schools and paid millions of pounds for their tuition and never asked for a receipt,” he boasted, not that anyone asked him how much he pays to educate his children or how he manages his finances and expenses without receipts.
Assuming that the students wanted the receipts to get help covering their tuition, he continued to ridicule them saying, “Now you want the receipt for 270,000 LL? Isn’t that shameful?”
The student sharing this unpleasant experience said that he and his friend were made to feel like beggars, or worse, subhuman.
Growing tired of the rude man’s rant, they made their way towards the principal’s office. However, the supervisor kept following them, bullying them, and repeating the same offensive talks.
Once they arrived at the principal’s office, the supervisor walked in and laughingly said, “These two want receipts for their 270,000 LL tuitions to give them to some NGO, isn’t that dumb?”
Luckily, the principal didn’t humor him and said, “It’s their right as students to request their own receipts.”
For a moment, the supervisor went silent but he wasn’t apparently done and followed the students back out of the office.
He continued harassing them with the arrogance of those who feel entitled to bully those in vulnerable positions for being richer, or, as in this case, for being able to enroll his children in “the best schools and paid millions of pounds” when those under his responsibility cannot afford it.
The “dumb” thing really is that the supervisor, a man with the responsibility of his own family, never asks for a receipt, as he claimed. After all, it is a common, intelligent practice to do, whatever the person’s financial standing.
“It’s as if the supervisor lives on another planet and isn’t aware of the economical crisis in Lebanon,” one of the students remarked in his Reddit post where he shared his story.
While both students remained polite with the supervisor, Redditors reading the experience had some choice words about him.
One Redditor wrote, “My guess he is barely able to make payments and he is projecting his insecurities on you to make himself feel better. Bringing people down won’t make him be in a better situation.”
“There’s nothing worse than teachers shaming students for their family’s financial situation, it’s like the struggles people go through at home aren’t enough,” another Redditor commented.