Iganga SS, last week expelled more than 20 students, claiming they had formed a society that was recruiting girls into lesbianism.
One parent who attended the Tuesday parents’ meeting told The Observer that on that day alone a total of 13 girls, including his daughter in S.1, were dismissed for ‘practising homosexuality’ in the school.
“Ours were 13 but on Monday they had dismissed nine, according to my friend who attended that day’s meeting, and I am told there will be another similar meeting tomorrow,” the parent said on condition of anonymity.
It was not clear why the head teacher, Aidah Balina Nseko, decided to call the affected parents in three different groups. Efforts to talk to her proved fruitless as she consistently failed to answer her phone. However, a source within the school administration suggested that there was fear from management of the possibility of too many questions from parents on how, from where, by who and when their children learnt to practise homosexuality.
According to this source, four out of the affected students were in S.1. A teacher who confirmed the story stated that the action had been taken at the end of the year in order to avoid disrupting the school’s academic programme.
“This thing [homosexuality] has been there but we resolved to bear with it until the end of year such that the innocent students are not affected. You sometimes get learners going on rampage when their colleagues are expelled,” said the teacher.
It has been reported that the students had ‘managed’ to form a ‘society’ on campus and regularly met to discuss how to ‘convince’ more students to practise the ‘act.’ We couldn’t readily establish whether there was someone or an organisation externally behind this society.
The news of lesbianism at Iganga Girls recently became a leading topic of discussion on local radios and the social media, putting the region’s leading and revered female secondary school on the brink of losing its social and moral status.
The development comes at a time when religious groups and members of parliament are waging a relentless war against same-sex relationships in the country. However, local residents around the school have blamed the school administration for the manner in which they have handled the matter. Tom Kimaliyo from Iganga town, and a parent at the school, commented that expelling the students was irresponsible and would be disastrous to the girls’ future.
“I think that the expelling is bad and even evil. Students are sent to school to be sensitized and educated. If found to be of any negative influence, the best is to get the young girls involved in counselling and monitoring to help them change behaviour or support them in coping with the situation.”
He finds act of expelling them unacceptable as it cripples these young people’s futures.
“I think the state minister for Gender and Culture should intervene in this situation and get the children back to the classroom and ensure their protection,” he added.