The Fear of an Educated Girl

On my first day of first grade, I cried when my father dropped me off in the schoolyard, scared to be left alone. In sixth grade, I worried about making friends in a new school. In eleventh grade, my knees shook when I stood up to speak at my school’s speech contest.

I was afraid, but my fears were not unusual. I was a young girl going to school, and my fears helped me grow up.

But I was never afraid that someone might kidnap or kill me.

Over 230 girls were studying for their final exams last month at a boarding school in Nigeria. When armed men arrived at their school and ordered them into trucks, the girls thought at first that it was an operation by the Nigerian military. But soon, they realized the danger they were in. The men revealed themselves as members of Boko Haram, a militant group ideologically opposed to education.

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