The society should learn to take responsibility when things go wrong

 

Some of you might not take what am going to say well while others just don’t like to hear the word responsibility. However, it has to be put out there.

The younger generation has been on the receiving end for so long. In an African family, if you break a glass, then you are out to ‘finish’ your mum. If she breaks a glass, you still get the stick for putting the glass in her way. The mentality that older folks are wiser and can never go wrong sucks. We are putting an end to it all. We can’t live by it anymore.

God rest the young souls that lost their lives in the Moi Girls arson attack. May those who are hospitalized get a quick recovery. I do hope that all the Moi Girls family receive extensive counseling to come out of the emotional trauma that comes with such tragedy.

If you are qualified to offer the counseling, I pray that nothing holds you back from giving the best you can. That’s the least you can do. It is consoling that steps are being taken to bring the culprits to book. Justice has to be served.

That the main suspect in the arson attack is a Form one student and makes the subject of this post. Stories are emerging of how she was suicidal and had already made two suicide attempts. I have never understood how any one would want to commit suicide but I will not judge them as well. However, after realizing that the girl was suicidal, what did the school and her parents do?? What were the preventive measures taken to ensure her safety? Did they even find out why she wanted to take her own life, and only while in school?

Perhaps she was getting bullied by the teachers or students? Maybe she had gone through something that she could not share with anyone else?We will never know because now she will be painted a villain who killed nine of her colleagues, not a victim silently wishing she would have died with the others. How does one even suffocate themselves with a pillow? If it were up to me, she wouldn’t be the PRIME suspect.

I foresee a situation where the school administration will be quick to absolve themselves of any blame. They will give the usual excuses; we reported her behaviour to her parents, they should have done something. ‘Matiang’i rules’ have tied our hands. We have hundreds of other students to look after, we can’t give specialized attention to each one of them. Bla bla bla. Crap!

There is a reason why schools are allowed a certain number of students for admission. Do not admit more than you can give specialized attention when the need arises. If you pay keen attention, you will also notice that public boarding schools don’t appreciate parents’ presence in the school unless it is to agree on fee increment.

“Let the children grow their own wings, let them move away from your shadows,” they will tell you.

Let me digress a little and give high school principals some free advice. Remove those grills from the windows. They serve no purpose. Students no longer sneak out of school at night.

I sat my Kenya Certificate Secondary Education in 2010 and by that time we had already stopped sneaking out at night. The security situation in the country made us realize that we were endangering our lives. Plus it is much easier to sneak out during the day, right under your watch.

So please, just do away with the window grills. Otherwise, it would be safer for our kids to sneak out and spend the night out than sleep in those death traps.

 

Photo credits: Pinterest

 

We are a society that likes to stick to our ways, and our ways only. It is my way or no way. That’s the rule. Until something goes awfully wrong, then we find someone to heap the blame on. I am not saying that the girl should not face the law if she indeed committed the arson attack. But this should open us up to the question, do ‘adults’ in this country take enough responsibility as they should?

Recently in a bus, a mother was on the phone with her son. From the slow, measured tone she was using, he is probably in lower primary or kindergarten. “Mmeletewa walimu wawili wapya? Ni wa kabila gani?” When that kid will grow up to be a machete wielding tribal bigot, we will lay the blame on politicians for turning them so.

Dear parents, your kids are not looking for an excuse to drop out every time they complain about their school. Sometimes, in the school administration is too hard on them or their dormitories are bedbug infested.

Your child may also be protesting the fact that they don’t understand Maths because the teacher comes to class drunk, if he ever comes. And that Biology teacher is really trying to get into her pants. Just because the accusations are against an ‘adult’ doesn’t make them untrue. Listen to your kids!

In this, I stand with the girl who tried to take her life twice but the world around her paid no attention to her pain. The principal, the girl’s parents, policy makers should be in the docks. It shouldn’t be the young girl who was too depressed to realise that you can’t suffocate yourself with a pillow.

We, as a society, should start taking responsibility and own up to our shortcomings. Let’s not run away from that. Otherwise, we are headed nowhere.

 

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