Eighteen students from Cardinal Otunga Girls High School in Bungoma County, Kenya were sent home recently for alleged involvement in lesbianism and for possessing mobile phones. The incident has sparked a contentious debate within the community, as parents are concerned about their daughters’ education and the school’s handling of the situation.
The students in question, most of whom were KCSE candidates, were expelled during a disciplinary meeting on September 28, 2023. The decision has left parents worried about the impact it will have on their daughters’ academic progress. They argue that the students should have been given clear dates for when they can resume their studies, but the school has failed to provide any such information in the dismissal letters.
NTV-Kenya attempted to contact the school principal, Christine Sifuna, for comment. However, she claimed to be busy with a board meeting and later denied having said so through a text message. This raises concerns among parents that the school is not being transparent about the situation and its handling of the disciplinary actions.
The wider community is divided on the issue. Some parents support the school’s decision, believing that it is necessary to maintain discipline and ensure a conducive learning environment for all students. However, others argue that the punishment is too severe and that alternative methods of addressing the issue should have been explored.
Local organizations advocating for human rights have also weighed in on the matter. They argue that the students’ sexual orientation should not be used as a reason to expel them and deny them access to education. They call for an inclusive and supportive environment for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation.
As the controversy continues to unfold, parents anxiously await a resolution and hope that their daughters can resume their studies soon. Many believe that a comprehensive dialogue addressing the concerns of all parties involved is necessary to ensure a fair and just resolution to the situation.