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Atheists demand suspension of SDA Kabianga students revoked, say religious freedoms must be protected
By Fay Ngina | Updated Jan 22, 2020 at 12:45 EAT
atheists-demand-suspension-of-sda-kabianga-students-revoked-say-religious-freedoms-must-be-protected
Harrison Mumia, President of Atheists in Kenya Soc
SUMMARY

Harrison Mumia, the President of Atheists in Kenya Society, demanded that the suspension of the boys revoked with immediate effect.

The Atheists society gave the school seven days to have the boys back and warned them that they will seek legal redress should they fail to do so.

The Atheists in Kenya want the suspension of the 17 Form Four SDA Kabianga Boys High School students revoked saying that religious freedoms must be protected.

In a letter addressed to the Principal of Kabianga High School, Harrison Mumia, the President of Atheists in Kenya Society, demanded that the suspension of the boys revoked with immediate effect.

The Atheists society gave the school seven days to have the boys back and warned them that they will seek legal redress should they fail to do so.

“We demand that you revoke their suspension with immediate effect. We are giving the school seven days to have the boys back to school or we seek legal redress on this matter,” read part of the statement.

The society, in their defense, said that freedom of worship is allowed in the constitution and thus the religious rights must be protected.

“Religious freedoms must be protected. The cultural majority should be prevented from denying others freedom of worship and belief,” read the statement.


The 17 students were suspended after failing to sit for an exam on Saturday.

According to the school Principal Dr. Joash Oloo, the students were instructed to sit for the exams between 5.30 am and 7.30 am, saying that it would not have affected their doctrine.

“We instructed them to sit for their exam between 5.30am and 7.30am on Sabbath day which had not really breached their doctrine or teachings,” said Mr Oloo.

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The principal also argued that they expected parents to immediately accompany their children to school after the suspension.


"We notified the parents through SMS. In a situation where we are neither suspending nor expelling a student, we expect the parent to come over to the school so that we can engage. “

"The Seventh Day Adventist students don’t do anything on Saturdays from 8am to 6pm. Where then is the problem for them to sit for their examination between 5am and 7:30 am," said the principal.

Julius Mongare Matonya, a lawyer to the students, also gave the school seven days to revoke the suspension, saying that every student should be allowed a day of worship.

"The constitutional allows freedom of worship. Even the Education Act recognises the fact that each and every student must be allowed a day for worship and it must be respected,” said Mongare.  Was the school right to suspend the students for failing to do exams on the Sabbath?

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