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Students expelled on lesbianism claim sue school, say their rights violated

Thursday May 28 2015

Five Form Four students have gone to court

Five Form Four students have gone to court challenging their expulsion over claims that they practiced lesbianism. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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A case filed by five Form Four students who were expelled for allegedly practising lesbianism will be heard Thursday before High Court judge Isaac Lenaola.

The students are seeking to be allowed back to their school.

Their case is being heard in private.

The former Students of the Nairobi-based school sued the board of management through lawyer Mwang’ombe Mwakio.

The students who were first suspended on April 8 prior to being expelled on May 18, claimed that their expulsion is unconstitutional as it contravenes the Basic Education Act and the Children Act.

One of the girls said that on the fateful day on April 4, she left for the dormitory after entertainment with five of her friends and were later joined by six more in her room to discuss a set book.

But six ended up sleeping in her room and were summoned the following day over the sleep over.

Four of the girls allegedly slept on their own mattresses alone while two slept in one bed.

However, one was inside the bed sheets and the other was simply on top of the bed, she said.

CONTRAVENTION OF EDUCATION ACT

“Section 35(2) of the Basic Education Act, 2013 prohibits the expulsion of students from school but the Board has made recommendations expelling the teenagers.
“They are (exam) candidates and have been cut off from learning. If they are not re-admitted immediately they will suffer irreparable loss,” Mr Mwakio said.

The lawyer maintained that the students’ rights to education and to a fair administrative action have been infringed by the Board.

They now want to be re-admitted so that they can catch up with lost time and lessons.

They also want the Board stopped from discriminating or victimising them in any way after they have been re-admitted and that they be refunded tuition fees lost during the expulsion.

They argued that they have been pursuing their secondary education in that school since Form One.

They also argued that both the suspension and expulsion were without a valid reason.

A parent of one of the affected students, said she did not know the exact reason why the five had to be suspended through a letter addressed to her by the principal.

APPEAR BEFORE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

The letter allegedly required parents of the five to appear before the disciplinary committee on April 24 and show cause why their daughters should not be excluded from the institution after they had already been suspended for gross misconduct.

The parent claimed that they all appeared before the said committee which allegedly comprised of the principal and her two deputies.

“My daughter was not informed of the charges against her. She was only asked to explain about a sleep over which she did then I was asked to comment and in my opinion, it was nothing serious.

“She was then asked to write an apology letter on the promise that she would be forgiven which she did,” said the parent.

The parent alleged that another student who had been suspended was re-admitted but the five were later required to face the Board on May 14 to show why they should not to be expelled having been considered to have committed a major offense.

“I was given the Board letter on May 6 and after reading through the school rules, I could not find any rule broken by the five.

“My daughter gave the same explanation before receiving the expulsion letter because she associated with a friend who had been questioned on whether she was a lesbian and why she is simply attracted to ladies,” added the parent.

The parent further claimed that the decision to expel the five was oppressive, high handed and was meant to victimise them since the girl questioned over lesbianism had a disciplinary case while she was in Form Two and the rest were merely her friends.

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