Kenya

6 Nairobi students suspended on claim of peddling drugs

6 Nairobi students suspended on claim of peddling drugs

A file photo of green Cannabis. Six girls were on September 11, 2021 suspended from Karen C secondary School in Nairobi for allegedly peddling drugs.

Photo credit: Fotosearch

Six girls were on Saturday suspended from Karen C Secondary School in Nairobi on allegations of peddling drugs.

Their parents protested and denied the accusations, accusing the school of assaulting and harming their children.

The parents on Saturday told Nation.Africa that they received calls from the school asking them to go and pick up their daughters.

They said that when they went there, however, they were denied access yet they wanted to speak to the principal, and were asked to wait for their children outside the school compound.

One parent said: “To my shock, my daughter had been assaulted to the point of being unable to walk. I had to take her to hospital and report the case to the police.”

The parent added that even if the girls were found with drugs, the school should have allowed them into the school and given an explanation before taking action.

“The girls say they were assaulted by teachers on Friday night before they were released this morning (Saturday) on suspension,” another parent said.

Some parents have since reported the case to the police and obtained medical reports from Nairobi Metropolitan Services to support the assault claim.

The letters showed the girls had swellings on parts of their bodies.

Principal’s comment

Contacted by Nation.Africa, school principal Beatrice Otieno confirmed that the six girls were suspended on that allegation.

Mrs Otieno, however, denied the claim that they were assaulted by teachers as reported by the parents.

“We found the girls with drugs and have evidence to that effect. We therefore suspended them for two weeks after which their parents are required to bring them back to school for interrogation,” said Mrs Otieno.

While noting that the punishment was in line with the school's disciplinary guidelines, the principal said the parents and students who are complaining are only seeking sympathy.

“The girls were not beaten. They only want to seek sympathy. The school has evidence that they were caught with drugs. The cases will undergo the required disciplinary process.”

Increasing cases

In the suspension letters seen by Nation.Africa, each girl was asked to report back to school on a particular day.

“Dear parent, your daughter has been sent home for the offences of sneaking in drugs and peddling drugs in school,” read the letter signed by the deputy principal on behalf of Ms Otieno.

Nairobi regional education director Jared Obiero said the school reported the matter to him in the morning, saying the girls were found with bhang hidden in books.

“I have directed the school to report the case to the police, have the bhang tested and launch investigations,” he said.

In July, the Education and Interior ministries released the National Guidelines for Alcohol and Substance Use Prevention and Management in Basic Education Institutions.

The guidelines require schools to maintain vigilance to prevent sale, manufacture or storage of alcohol and drugs in establishments around them.

The guidelines were released amid concerns about increasing abuse of alcohol and substances such as miraa, tobacco,, cocaine and cannabis among primary and secondary school students.