Principal of Othaya Boys Jailed For Refusing To Readmit Suspended Candidates
A Nyeri school principal found guilty of contempt of court will be imprisoned for six months for violating an order to re-admit 20 students.
Othaya Boys High School Principal Edward Muhuni was found to have disobeyed a March 23 order requiring him to re-admit the candidates who had been suspended for assault, according to the ruling issued by High Court Judge Justice Florence Muchemi.
Justice Muchemi stated that the students, through their lawyer Muhoho Gichimu, had provided sufficient proof that the order had been served on the principal and the school’s Board of Management (BOM).
She stated that they provided stamped copies confirming that the order was received by school administrators and that administrators responded to it.
“Service of the orders on the respondent has not been denied in this application as the school’s BOM has replied trying to justify its failure to obey the said order,” she said.
She chastised the school administration for failing to file a legal challenge to the order.
Tjudge said that assuming the school had a problem obeying the order, it would have instructed its counsel to challenge it in court, but nothing of the sort was done, and it instead remained adamant in shutting the students out.
According to court documents, the students were suspended in October of last year after attacking three of their classmates, leaving one seriously injured.
Mr Muhuni stated in an affidavit that he rescued the trio from the school’s ablution block where the incident occurred and reported the incident to the police station.
After the students were charged in court, the school decided to suspend them at a BOM meeting because they were suspected of bullying others.
However, the students rushed to the High Court and requested that the school administration re-admit them pending the outcome of the suit.
Following Justice Muchemi’s orders, students and parents were invited to a meeting with school administrators to discuss how they would sit their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, which were scheduled to begin in March.
The school also demanded that they report ready for re-admission and pay Sh3,500.
During the meeting, however, Mr Muhoho, the students’ lawyer, informed the court that the school administration had violated the terms of the invitation.
“The students were instead informed that they would be day schoolers and be accommodated at a nearby local school where an external cook and an armed officer contracted by the school would take care of them,” Mr Muhoho said.
The Sh3,500 was intended to cover the cost of the external cook’s services.
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Mr Muhoho claimed that during the BOM meeting, school administrators were not cordial as they condemned the students for suing the school.
Mr Muhoho also stated in court documents that the administrators only called the meeting in response to the court order after the county director of education intervened.