So I am up at this ungodly hour trolling the internet streets reading random stuff and I come across this article about Ebby Noelle Samuel, who, until her death three years ago, had been a student at Gatanga CMM Secondary school (currently St. Anaruate Gatanga Girls School).
Further details into the actual investigation into her cause and manner of death can be found on the official DCI – Kenya page. But the painful summary of the matter, which we have all always suspected, turns out to be confirmed as a sick cover – up of a homicide by the school’s administration as it touched on one of their senior members of staff.
The reason for the overly severe assault on Ebby by the said school administrator, was just plain stupid to say the least : HER HAIR HAD BEEN STYLED CONTRARY TO SCHOOL REGULATIONS!! I mean can you imagine loosing a child over this?
Later that night, Ebby succumbed to her injuries, which were very severe according to the autopsy carried out. She was found lying prostate on the ground in her dorm room and the school spun this ridiculous story about her falling off the bed 🙄. According to the pathologist, she died from blunt force trauma to her head.
Such reports get my heart racing and my blood boiling! While we all advocate for living in an orderly society, when was corporal punishment sneaked back into our school systems? It was because of rampant cases of deadly assaults in various schools all over the country, that an outcry was raised and corporal punishment in schools abolished and outlawed.
My eldest daughter has just cleared her Form Four and the sigh of relief that swept over me was audible when I picked her up from school. The fact that she stayed in a school(by her own insistence) which had been notoriously featured in the news because one of their own had set a dorm on fire, killing 8 of her colleagues, made me go on my knees everyday and pray for her safe return home.
My daughter said to me that “Mum, I worked hard for my spot in this school and no bully will make me change schools”. Apparently, the criminal, who has since been convicted and sentenced to seven years for manslaughter, a very lenient term in my opinion, had been complaining about not wanting to be in that school, but no one was paying attention. As a result, lives were lost and families were left forever scarred from this incidence.
I bring up the parallels in this cases because of the extreme nature of both. The common denominator is that lives were lost in the end because of matters that could have been prevented through effective communication. Was it really necessary to assault a student to that extent just to enforce school rules concerning hair? On the other hand, in hindsight, could 8 lives have been saved by paying more attention to the convicted killer who shall remain unnamed because she deserves to rot in prison for her actions?
Either way, a deeper discussion needs to be had and stricter laws put in place to avoid unnecessary deaths. No parent deserves to bury their child in any circumstances, let alone for sending their child to boarding school. My heart goes out to Ebby’s parents, may her soul rest in peace and may her death not be in vain.
We need to advocate for Ebby’s law, to push for more discussions into transparency in dealing with our children in schools. I hope that something good comes out of this very awful mess.
Signed: Empress Ogaro
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