Nakuru County Director for Education Isaac Asebe has ordered Bahati Boys High School to re-admit a form four student who had been expelled from the school for allegedly drawing “demonic art“.
The student Ian Mwaura Njenga was expelled from the school on February 13 after he was accused of drawing “suggestive art“.
After Njenga’s plight was highlighted by The Standard the County Director of Education stepped in and ordered the school management to rescind its punitive decision and allow the student proceed with his studies.
Asebe said he had talked with the school management concerning the grounds under which the school had expelled the boy.
“I have talked with the school and they will be re-admitting the boy to school on Monday. The school further suggested that the boy will be given guidance and counselling sessions,“ Asebe who talked to The Standard on phone said.
Njenga had been expelled from school by the disciplinary committee over what the institution termed as demonic faith.
Thursday, Njenga and his mother camped at the Ministry of Education Nakuru County offices for better part of the day as they sought intervention of the County Director.
“He has drawings which are suggestive that he is owing allegiance to some faith” reads part of the expulsion letter signed by the school principal Patrick Ombok.
He was also accused of drawing a scorpion on another boy‘s shirt which the school says was a sign of recruiting other students to a cult.
In an earlier interview with The Standard, the School principal Ombok had said the school would not re-admit the student saying the decision from the school board was final.
When the story was published in The Standard Thursday, it sparked criticism over the “harsh disciplinary action.“
Atheists in Kenya (AIK) society issued the school principal a seven-day ultimatum to lift the exclusion letter, failure to which the society would move to court.
The society had threatened to sue the school for interfering with the studies of the form four student. In a letter addressed to the school principal and copied to the Teachers Service Commission, Ministry of Education and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the society said reasons for expelling the boy from school are ‘unreasonable, repulsive, objectionable and abhorrent‘.
The question is how the School sees the devil in the boy’s drawings?
A Form Four student has been expelled from school over what the institution has termed as his demonic drawings. Bahati Boys Secondary School in Nakuru accuses Ian Njenga of “drawing suggestive art associated with demonic faith“.
His expulsion letter, signed by the school principal Patrick Ombok on February 13 this year reads: “He (Njenga) has drawings which are suggestive that he is owing allegiance to some faith“.
The boy, however, strongly denies that his drawings have anything to do with a cult or even demons. He says he is a ardent artist and that he always draws during his free time.
“I have several drawings which I draw inspiration from and drawings from other artists in the streets. I have always loved drawing especially during my free time,“ he told The Standard.
The school further accuses Njenga of being in possession of several newspaper cuttings of women with letter “P tattoos“ on their bodies.
The student terms the school‘s punishment too harsh and says he has never had any disciplinary case before or even been warned against drawing.
The boy‘s mother, Mrs Nancy Njenga, has accused the school administration of frustrating the boy‘s studies especially as registration for the national examinations nears.
“It is very frustrating that he has just been expelled for drawing which he has always loved. He has been drawing just like his father ever since he was a small boy“, she said.
Mrs Njenga said she was only informed over the weekend, during an academic day, that her son had a disciplinary case. She was advised to talk to him so that she derives the meaning of his drawings.
“I was very surprised but I talked to him and even asked a friend to talk to him so that we could get anything. But it was just his pure love for art and that was the report I took to school on Monday,“ she said
Afterwards, Mrs Njenga was told to go home with her son after she was informed that the school would no longer keep him. Further, she was advised to enroll him in a day school where she could monitor him daily.
The principal emphasised that the school does not condone anything associated with demonic beliefs as it has a strong Christian foundation.
“We have so many things within the school that Ian could have drawn inspiration from like cows or even portraits of other students. But drawing suggestive things like snakes and scorpions is not condoned in the school,“ Mr Ombok said. Unfortunately these things happens when people are to religious and are not able to see beyond their own yards, and judging people out from their limited knowledge to the rest of the world and likes to force their own belief onto other people.
According to Basic Education Regulations 2015, the board of management ought to have forwarded the recommendations to “exclude“ the student to the County Director of Education.
However, the head teacher had told The Standard the decision by the board was final and that they would not readmit the student. It now looks like they had to follow through with the order they were given to re-admit him.
Ombok said they have advised the mother to pay attention to what her son is drawing, for which reason we wonder as from an artists view point it is beautiful art nothing else than what a mother can be proud of..
“We have suggested that he be taken to a day school, a situation which the board thought was best for both parents to scrutinize what their son might be up to. We have also recommended counseling for the boy,“ Ombok said.
Unfortunately it is things and cases that is seen to often with teachers and head masers that take things into their own hands and try to force their own thoughts and beliefs onto others and if they do not follow troop with what they are told these people are punished or followed by the bullies/believers as they are. (studies call them this as they do not look at their religious back ground)
These studies also show that people with strong beliefs are usually those who bullies other and are less forgiving than people with no belief or that do not put it before others and their goodness.
The studies have show that religious people are much more judgmental than people that are non believers or over religious.