Recently, Cardinal Otunga Girls High School in Bungoma County, Kenya, made headlines when they expelled eighteen students on allegations of engaging in lesbianism and possessing mobile phones. This incident has ignited a heated debate within the community, with parents expressing deep concerns about their daughters’ education and the school’s handling of the entire situation.
The students who faced expulsion were primarily KCSE candidates, and their removal from the school took place during a disciplinary meeting on September 28, 2023. The decision has left parents understandably worried about the potential impact on their daughters’ academic progress. They contend that the school should have provided clear information regarding when these students could expect to resume their studies. However, the dismissal letters failed to offer any such details, leaving parents in a state of uncertainty.
Efforts were made by NTV-Kenya to reach out to the school principal, Christine Sifuna, for her perspective on the matter. She initially claimed to be occupied with a board meeting and subsequently denied making such a statement via text message. This has raised suspicions among parents who feel that the school may not be transparent in its handling of the disciplinary actions.
The wider community appears divided on this issue. Some parents support the school’s decision, believing that it is necessary to uphold discipline and maintain a conducive learning environment for all students. Conversely, others argue that the punishment is overly severe and that alternative approaches to addressing the issue should have been explored.
Local human rights organizations have also chimed in on the matter. They assert that a student’s sexual orientation should not serve as grounds for expulsion or denial of access to education. These organizations advocate for an inclusive and supportive educational environment, regardless of a student’s sexual orientation.
As this controversy continues to unfold, parents anxiously await a resolution, hoping that their daughters can return to their studies soon. Many believe that a comprehensive dialogue, addressing the concerns of all parties involved, is imperative to arrive at a fair and just resolution to this complex situation.