A catholic mission school, Bishop Nwedo Memorial Boys’ High School, in Umuahia, has expelled over 20 students for practicing homosexuality.
The school management dismissed these students on the day that there were to commence their first term examination. Affected students were in junior as well as senior secondary school levels.
According to a local source, the school authorities organised a prayer session following reported cases of homosexual practices in the school. During the prayer session, the school managers urged students who had indulged in homosexual acts to confess or they would suffer terrible calamities.
Some students came forward and disclosed that they had indulged in homosexual acts with junior or senior school students. Subsequently, the school authorities expelled these students without allowing them to take the first term examination. A parent expressed shock and disappointment at the harsh punishment meted out to these students by Bishop Nwedo Memorial Boys’ High School. According to this parent, the dismissal of the students has traumatized them, and has disrupted their academic program.
The decision to punish students for homosexuality does not align with the position of Pope Francis who has noted that homosexual tendencies “are not a sin”. Students who confessed to homosexuality expected love and proper guidance from the school authorities, not expulsion. A school that has honesty as its motto should not treat students who expressed honesty this way.
In fact mission schools are expected to act with compassion not cruelty towards those who confess to have behaved in a particular way whether sinful or not. He appealed to the principal of the school, Rev Fr Benjamin Onyemachi to review this decision, recall the students and allow them to continue their education at the school.