school closes amid fears of violence

NYAGATARE - The management of Karangazi Secondary School, in Nyagatare District, on Sunday abruptly sent all students home, following threats by one student who had suddenly become mentally disturbed. According to the school management, the students were sent home as a precautionary measure after one of their colleagues; Jackson Mushinja (S.3) became mentally ill, damaging school property and threatening violence. 
The school is quiet. All students were sent home. (Photo/ Dan Ngabonziza)
The school is quiet. All students were sent home. (Photo/ Dan Ngabonziza)

NYAGATARE - The management of Karangazi Secondary School, in Nyagatare District, on Sunday abruptly sent all students home, following threats by one student who had suddenly become mentally disturbed. 

According to the school management, the students were sent home as a precautionary measure after one of their colleagues; Jackson Mushinja (S.3) became mentally ill, damaging school property and threatening violence. 

Fearing that the worst could happen, the deputy headmaster, Theotis Bihirwe said, the school resolved to send all students home.

“The incidence started on October 1. The student started by threatening the school management that he was going to destroy all school property. Later, he was sent home after we discovered that he had mental problems,” Bihirwe said. 

However, Bihirwe added, when Mushinja returned to school on Saturday evening, he along with other students threatened violence again.

“We called the police again and Jackson was detained that night and later sent to Ndera Mental Health centre in Gasabo District. He was later released after undergoing mental tests and was declared normal,” said Bihirwe.   

The relative calm was however short-lived, as the student two days later started terrorizing fellow students and staff. 

“He snatched axes and knives from cooks in the kitchen and every one started running for his dear life. We again called the police and he was taken to Nyagatare Police Post,” he added.  

Candidates worried When The New Times arrived at the school on Monday morning, the last students were still packing their luggage while others complained that they didn’t have transport to reach their homes. 

“I am totally disappointed with this abrupt decision. I have no transport and my parents in Kigali were not informed that we were supposed to leave school today,” one of the students said. 

Alice Kemigisha, a senior three candidate, suggested that the school could have contacted security organs to help in maintaining security at school. 

“I don’t support the decision taken by the school management as it is going to affect our performance,” she said. 

Separately, the Nyagatare District Police Commander, Supt. Edward Kayitare said that the school headmaster, Bishop Gakumba took the decision without informing the police. 

“We heard about the issue and this student was sent to Ndera Hospital for mental care because the police can’t detain someone with mental illness. But we have directed the school head to call students back after hearing his decision,” he said. 

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