High school students injured after dorm fight turns tribal

Several students were injured in three days of ethnic tension at Larmudiac Secondary School in Njoro. 

Five students have been suspended after a dormitory incident on Saturday night took an ethnic turn. 

Sources privy to the incident said trouble began at around 9pm when one student found his bed soiled with human waste and blamed it on ethnic rivalry.

The student is then said to have mobilised his community members.

Ganged up

Together, they ganged up and broke into a store from where they emerged with crude weapons and attacked those perceived to belong outside their tribe. 

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“They beat us up, saying those who are not from their tribe were behind the incident and should leave the school immediately,” said one student.

The rest of the students then ganged up against their attackers, leading to a full-blown fight.

The fight went on for the better part of the night until the police were called in to restore calm.

“Stones were flying. Some students  escaped through the fence. Even after the police came in, we refused to go back to our dormitories for fear of being attacked,” said another student.

Although the school and education officials remained cagey on the number of students injured, a number of parents who spoke to The Standard said their sons were nursing head and arm injuries.

Fleeing students walked for kilometres in the dark to reach their homes, while some were hosted for the night by Good Samaritans.

“I was shocked to hear my son, a form one student, knocking on our door at 2am. I couldn’t believe he had walked from Njoro to Nakuru town at night,” said one parent. Others were still on the road by Sunday morning, as concerned parents headed to the school.

“We had been informed about the fight at night and headed to the school on Sunday. Along the way, we met with some of the students and convinced them to follow us back to the institution,” one parent said.

On Sunday, the school management assured parents that the matter had been resolved and that police would keep vigil to ensure safety of the learners.

Tensions high

But some parents claimed that by Monday, tensions were still high.

“My son went back on Monday. He has since informed me that the police were not within the school that night and that they were attacked again,” a parent told The Standard.

On Tuesday, teachers, the board of management and education officers held a meeting after which they resolved to suspend five students.

By then, only female students were left in the compound.

County Director Education Lawrence Karuntimi yesterday said learning at the school would continue despite what he described as a walk-out by male students.

“Only five boys had been sent home over the incident, the rest walked out in solidarity,” he said.

But a number of parents who spoke to The Standard claimed that ethnic tensions had been building up for some time among the students.

Yesterday, the school’s principal and board members could not be reached on phone. They were said to be in a meeting.

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Larmudiac Secondary SchoolNjoroNakuru County