Following outbursts on social media over the treatment of Kyagulanyi Sentamu aka Bobi Wine’s son Solomon Kampala Sekaya at St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK) after being allegedly caught with illicit drugs, RX Radio Presenter Olive Najjuma has advised parents to stop wielding so much power to traditional schools.
In a leaked audio recording of a parent’s meeting at the school that has since gone viral, the National Unity Platform leader Kyagulanyi announced that before the suspension of his son, there was no hard evidence found to prove that he had been caught with drugs since the CCTV cameras in the dormitory were faulty that day, according to the headteacher.
However, in order to promote fairness since other students were also caught with illegal possessions that day and were suspended, the headteacher proposed that the punishment is upheld, a move that Kyagulanyi didn’t concur with but because of his undying attachment for the school which his father and grandfather attended and the fact that his wife seconded the decision, he was prompted to accept the recommendation.
“The young man was neither guilty nor innocent according to you (headteacher). We agreed to that for the good of the school and for the good of the matter not going out there. It felt very unfair Mr. Headteacher but because I respect and love this school, I agreed to that. It was therefore very unfortunate to see that after those two weeks even when that young man was innocent as far as evidence is concerned, you were quoted in the media confirming that my son was caught with drugs. That was damaging to the future of my son, my personality and family,” he said in the recording.
In her opinion, Olive blamed parents for allowing themselves to be victimized by schools to the extent of potentially leaving a negative impact on their children’s mental health.
“When your child is in these traditional schools, you will try your best to be in the school’s good books. Your child can be maligned and indeed Kyagulanyi said that the headmaster has been attacking his child, bullying him at assembly and in the chapel. This was my contention on my Facebook timeline. Parents need to get away from being victimized by schools. Most parents are at the mercy of the school, what the administration says is final and most parents roll with it because they are dying to keep their children there; but what are you doing to the future of your child?” she asked.
The Presenter continued, saying that parents could take their children to other schools, citing an old school friend that got suspended from a number of traditional schools until he went to the late Mukiibi’s schools(St. Lawrence) where his self-esteem was boosted and he was encouraged to tap into his potential in the creative space, unlike traditional schools that mainly uphold science subjects.
James Onen aka Fatboy commenting on the audio, said that students should be given a chance to defend themselves, adding that it was unfair for a school to decide the fate of a child without thorough investigation and conclusive evidence to establish that they committed the crime. He exemplified Solomon’s case saying that the matter called for responsible agencies to investigate the issue and back up the allegations.
He also expressed concern for the 17-year-old student, wondering whether now the contention between him and the headteacher would be more strained after the encounter.
Olive, in response, said this might be inevitable given that about 10 teachers were allegedly fired in connection with the drug allegation incidents. She appealed to parents to be a voice for their children and stand up for them.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.