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Aquinas school in the eye of the storm over sodomy allegations

Aquinas High School in Nairobi. A parent claims her son was sodomised at the school. [ Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

Controversy has erupted at Aquinas High School in Nairobi following claims a student was sexually molested in the school.

A parent of a Form One student has claimed her son was sodomised at the school.

The mother of the 15-year-old claimed her son was attacked by other students while in the dormitory on January 30 at about 2 am.

The alleged incident has attracted the attention of human rights activists. 

The woman said she called the school’s dormitory master to check on her son only to be informed the boy had been sent home over an outstanding fee balance.

She said she later called her son’s class teacher who confirmed that indeed her son was on the home way over fees arrears.

“My son did not have school fees balance but they sent him home. I wondered why he was sent home because I had settled the remaining balance of Sh1,500 through mobile banking,“ said the mother.

The woman claimed the class teacher told her that other than school fees, her son was also unwell and needed further medical attention. The teacher allegedly told her that the school nurse had attended to him but he was not responding to the medication.

Aquinas High School, Nairobi. [ Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

 “When I finally got home, I found my son looking pale and sickly. My son has fallen sick before while in school and the teachers have sent a communication to that effect. However, they did not inform me of my son’s sickness this time around,” said the mother who spoke at the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHCR) offices in Nairobi where she was accompanied by a group of other parents.

She said she found it unusual that her son had not used up his pocket money yet she sends him money on a weekly basis.

“I could tell something was not okay but I gave him time to rest. I also noticed that he could not sit well. He later opened up to me and told me that he had been sodomised inside his dormitory,” the woman said.

She said her son told her that he attempted suicide by taking an overdose of medicine after the incident.

“I took him to Thika Level Five Hospital and it was confirmed that my son had been sodomised. We did some lab tests for HIV, Hepatitis B, and VDRL. Luckily, they were all negative. The most unfortunate thing is that he talked about it six days later. He had not been put on post-exposure prophylaxis which should be done within 72 hours,” she said.

He was given painkillers, anal ointment, and antibiotics. The matter was reported at Thika Police Station under OB number 10/4/2/2022.

“What saddens me is that my son is at home and traumatised yet the person who attacked him is still in school. It is unfortunate that some teacher scolded me for raising the issue in our parents’ WhatsApp group,” she said.

Aquinas High School Principal Stephen Gathii. [ Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

But Aquinas High School Principal Stephen Gathii said the allegations by the parent are not based on facts. He said their preliminary investigations have not indicated sodomy.

On the said date, January 30, Gathii said the boy complained of headache and was given medication. He was handed over to the guidance and counseling teacher as he appeared withdrawn, the principal said.

The counseling teacher reported that the Form One student was being bothered by some family issues involving his parents, Gathii claimed.

“He said he was feeling bad that his parents were separated and he didn’t know if his father would continue paying his school fees,” said the principal.

On February 3, he was sent home over school fees. He was among 10 students who were reportedly sent home over fees arrears.

“When the mother said she didn’t have arrears, I asked her to bring him back only for her to send messages in parents’ WhatsApp group that her son had been sodomised,” said Gathii.

Gathii said they went through CCTV footage in the dorm and nothing showed the alleged sodomy in the cubicle. 

“We have more than 100 cameras in school and the clip from the dormitory does not show anyone leaving or entering the cubicle. We have recorded statements from his classmates. We cannot keep the culprit in school if we knew him because there are other students here,” he added.