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Education officials probe suicide by 'period-shamed' Bomet girl

Thursday September 12 2019

Bomet protests after pupil's suicide

Parents storm Kabiangek primary school in Konoin, Bomet County, on September 9, 2019 after reports that a pupil committed suicide after a teacher ridiculed her. PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VITALIS KIMUTAI
By VITALIS KIMUTAI
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Police have officially launched an investigation into the death by suicide of a class six pupil from Bomet County after she was ridiculed over menstruation.

A teacher at Kabiangek Primary School in Konoin constituency is said to have sent the girl, Jackline Chepng'eno, home after she soiled her dress while in class.

The needy 14-year old took her life on September 6, shortly after narrating her ordeal to her parents at Chemelet village.

Her mother Beatrice Koech said the teacher termed her "dirty" and embarrassed and humiliated her before the entire class.

MEETING

The matter was discussed at length during a county education board meeting chaired by Dr Elias Kirui.

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Kenya National Union of Teachers branch Executive Secretary Malel Langat, Bomet County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding and County Director of Education Mabale Indiatsi attended.

Mr Omoding directed Mr Indiatsi to tour the school and establish why the girl could not be given sanitary pads.

"Schools have been supplied with sanitary towels. It beats logic how a pupil was sent home for pads instead of getting them at school," he said on Thursday.

"Matters were worsened by the fact that it is a female teacher who is alleged to have sent the girl home after she was ridiculed in class."

REPORT

Mr Indiatsi said he interviewed teachers and pupils on Wednesday evening and that their accounts would form part of his report to the Ministry of Education.

"We will interview the parents today as we unravel the circumstances under which the child died," he said.

Police lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse parents who demonstrated outside the school following the incident.

Five of them were arrested and the school closed.

Konoin Sub-county Police Commander Alex Shikondi said the body was taken to Kapkatet Sub-county Hospital mortuary.