Otok Secondary School students were against the parents’ protests, pushing for the removal of the school’s principal. [James Omoro, Standard]

Students of Otok Mixed Secondary School in Kendu Bay, Homa Bay County on Thursday beat up parents who stormed the school to demand the removal of the institution’s new principal, Jackton Ogaga.

The parents arrived at the school in the morning and went to the principal’s office to block the new appointee from accessing his office.

After entering the school compound, the parents roughed up the school’s deputy principal, leaving him injured.

Students, who were in class during the incident, came out and began stoning the parents.

Some of the learners beat up the parents, who were determined to forcefully remove the new principal.

Parents flee 

Witnesses said the parents, who were overwhelmed by the high number of students, fled into the neighbouring villages.

Some students pursued the parents. Police were forced to intervene to avert uglier scenes.

Two parents, who had hidden in the principal’s office, were flushed out and caned by the learners in shocking scenes.

“The parents wanted the immediate former principal Amos Hongo, who has been transferred, to be reinstated. They did not want the new principal, Jackton Ogaga, to assume office,” a teacher at the school, who sought anonymity, told The Standard.

Hongo, who left Otok Secondary in February 2023, was transferred to Guu Mixed Secondary School in Nyakach Sub-County, Kisumu County.

Rachuonyo North Sub-County Police Commander Lydia Parteiye said three people were arrested in connection with the Thursday, March 9 melee.

Among those in custody, is a senior parents’ association official.

Police say the suspects will be charged with inciting parents to forcefully remove from office a public officer appointed rightfully.

“The Ministry of Education has clear complaint guidelines. Aggrieved people can present their complaints to the ministry through the sub-county or county directors of education,” said Parteiye. “What the parents did was wrong,” she added.

Police restore order

A relative calm resumed on Thursday afternoon after police restored order. The fracas resulted in the damage of property at Otok Secondary School, including the breaking of classroom window panes.

In Homa Bay, Migori and Kisii counties, at least ten principals are facing hostility from either parents or students who do not want them to report to their new workstations.

St. John’s Got Kabok Mixed Secondary School, Long’o Primary School and Osure Primary School, all in Homa Bay County, are among the schools grappling with hostility toward newly appointed school heads.