“I WAS FORCED TO SLEEP ON THE GRAVE”: THE BULLYING TALES OF STUDENTS IN A TOP AFRICAN SCHOOL
By Susan Johnes
Kenyans reacted on social media after a report containing details of bullying and torturing “freshers,” otherwise known as high school freshman, was revealed early last week. The horrifying incident occurred at Alliance High School, Kenya’s best learning institution.
The brutal mistreatment has left many with bitter taste and reactions with a majority totally against the corporal punishment.
The premier school was established in the year 1926 and has since expanded from a local institution to international level with a current population of 1600 students.
Indeed, over the past years, the school has remained a center of excellence, topping the country in the consecutive years. Moreover, the school has produced the countries well-known politicians, professionals, and top successful business personnel.
The investigations about the bullying were carried out last month and came up with crazy findings against the humanity of the bullied students.
The school has a tradition known as “action night” where newly admitted students got inducted into the session. The student leaders (prefects) led the event and engaged the new students in a horrible night dominated with merciless beatings with sticks and electric cables. Several students were injured with some forced to use crutches in walking.
One student narrates, “I was forced to swim on the grass bare-chested.” Another one recounts, “We came out of the dormitory at 11.30pm and frog matched to clean our bathrooms and classes as the rest of the students slept.”
The slow ones who were too lazy to cooperate received a beating. Another student narrated how he spent his night in a graveyard, “on that night we were told to lie on the grave by our house captains claiming they were gods and wanted us to worship them.”
To make matters worse, the prefects engaged the students in a chasing game, armed with whips and belts. The incidence left students with broken legs and hands leaving the new students to view a school as a dangerous place.
However, the school has kept covering the occurrence for the consecutive years. When the students complained about the mistreatment, the prefects got a verbal warning without a deep probe into the matter. Even though the principal took an early retirement from the incident, he deserved a corporal punishment that could amount to jailing.
It is sad that bullying is in existence in this modern society. Some senior students go ahead and deny the junior students a chance to have their meals or even an opportunity to use the available social amenities. Bullying was an issue of the past. Therefore our current students deserve to an ideal learning environment.