ImageWere you allowed to drink tea or coffee as a child? Parents have differing views on that subject. The same is true of school administrators. Though most parents and guardians have valid reasons for restricting caffeinated beverages, the administrators at Jericho Hill for the Deaf and Blind seemed to have no logical reasons for their actions.

From my Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School memoir, here is how a few of us boys bucked the authorities’ arbitrary rules.


One aspect of human nature is that people gravitate towards the forbidden. An official in the Administration Building decided boys and girls should not drink coffee or tea. Mr. Robbie introduced those beverages to the Dining Hall a year previously. All of us students felt cheated when we heard the news.

One January evening, Geoffrey furtively announced, “I’ve got some tea and cream and sugar in my locker. You guys want some?” We gratefully accepted his generous offer.

Since he had a weak bladder, and needed to be woken each midnight to relieve himself, he promised to wake us after the night nurse was gone and then we would have tea.

At midnight, the night nurse woke Geoffrey as usual. After she was gone, he roused us and we tiptoed to the bathroom with our cups in hand. We ran the taps until they were as hot as they would get and then we filled our cups. Geoffrey shared a tea bag between the four of us in the way we had seen prisoners of war do in movies. Then we crept back to our rooms with our illicit brew. After we savoured our contraband cups of tea, we went back to bed.

Some time later, and with no warning, tea and coffee were permitted in the Dining Hall. To this day, I have no idea why these beverages were first banned and then reinstated once more. As a result, we no longer needed to have our clandestine midnight tea parties.


If you enjoyed that story, please check out Deliverance from Jericho on the Bruce Atchison’s books link. As for How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribute the e-book version while Virtual Bookworm stocks the paperback version.


Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.


  1. My parents would have allowed me to drink coffee and tea, but when I tried both beverages, I found them both bitter. When I came of age, Dad urged me to try different alcoholic beverages with the same results. I’ve always stuck to juice, water, pop, and the occasional cup of hot chocolate.

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