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Former Alliance principal trashes claims of bullying cover-up at school

Former Alliance High School principal David Kariuki has responded for the first time to allegations of bullying at the school.

The former principal dismissed claims that the school’s administration had routinely covered-up incidents of bullying. He instead said parents who are speaking out on brutality meted on their children at the school are out to tarnish his name.

“All these are a pack of lies stage-managed to paint me black,” Mr Muriuki was quoted by Nation.

He was reacting to a claim by a parent who allegedly claimed of a cover-up of bullying at the institution.

Mr Kariuki resigned following allegations of bullying at the school. The Teacher Service Commission (TSC) has since accepted his request to retire before attaining the age of 60 years.

A teacher at the institution, who wanted to be anonymous, also confirmed bullying at the school saying; “You said the truth about Alliance. Administration imefeli sana kaka (it has failed brother). I’m a teacher there.”

The bullying is said to have been carried out by prefects and seniors students for a long period of time at the school with the school management taking no action.

RAISED ALARM

Parents of the children raised an alarm with the Ministry of Education early this year prompting an investigation.

“The deputy head teacher and teachers should also be exposed. A parent friend of mine was in school last week because the deputy head meted out such a beating on the son that was so bad and traumatic, the young man wants to sue. This same young man had been bullied in form one and needed support to walk,” a friend of a parent of one of the affected student was also quoted.

More than 10 students have reported being beaten up with sticks and electricity cables, slapped and forced to lie on the graves of the school’s founders for hours on end at night and to ‘swim’ on grass.

At least one of the students has been reduced to walking on crutches as a result of a severe beating.

The bullying was carried out during “action nights” and “induction sessions” masterminded by prefects in the full knowledge of the administration.

FLIMSY

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion protested the decision by Mr Kariuki to resign, saying it was being done on flimsy grounds.

“It is unfair to kick out Mr Kariuki while other principals are being promoted. The Ministry of Education is behind the decision,” said Mr Sossion.

Speaking at the Kenya Coast National Polytechnic graduation in Mombasa on Thursday, Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’i, said there was a clear policy guideline for addressing bullying of students in schools.

“Schools’ management should ensure students have comfortable and conducive learning environment,” said Dr Matiang’i.

He, however, declined to reveal the action being taken against the Alliance High bullies, whose torture on fellow students led to one of them ending up using crutches.

The CS assured parents that his ministry will end bullying and mistreatment of students in all schools through implementation of policy guidelines.