Why Alliance bullying story spread fast

There has been a national outcry this past week following reports of bullying in one of the country’s most prestigious national schools.

The surprising part was not the bullying but the calibre of the school where this heinous crime was reported. I am sure if the report came from a low-cadre school, it would not have received the attention it did.

The photo of bloodstained uniform that went viral pricked the nation’s conscience.

It was unbelievable that bullying of such magnitude could come from a school that is every Standard Eight boy’s dream. Kenyans will be forgiven for passing harsh judgement on Alliance High School because bullying is the last crime one would associate the school with.

Given, bullying is not an Alliance phenomena. Even in the schools you and I went through, there was some mild form of bullying by older students.

But in the case of Alliance, it was not the bullying that shocked the nation, but the magnitude. This was not your common ‘monolisation’.

This was Mungiki-style cruelty meted out on innocent and vulnerable students. This was a completely new breed of bullying — barbaric, almost bordering on terrorism. The accounts given by the victims were chilling and heart-rending.

I do not wish to demonise a school of Alliance’s standing, but I am tempted to conclude that there could have been a spectre of devil worship pulling the strings from a convenient hide-out. Students generally do not dislike their colleagues with such vitriol unless other forces are involved.

Still, I believe Alliance remains the school to beat academically, and that this sad incident should not ruin a reputation that has taken the school almost a century to build.