Our children need counselling, Corporal punishment won’t solve their misbehaviour

By Hope Mbeere

When they first announced it on the news I remember thinking, “God, this can’t be true.” There must have been some type of mistake. No way had he stubbed his parents, little brother and cousin to death… no way. In what crazy, dark, twisted world does a child kill his parents!?

22 year Lawrence Warunge, a second year at Mount Kenya University confessed to plotting and executing the gruesome murders of four family members. Among them; his father whom he stabbed not one, not two, but thirty four times, his mother whom he stabbed nineteen times, his little brother and cousin. He also killed a mason who lived in the compound. Typing that paragraph literally sent a chill down my spine and it gets worse.

Lawrence told detectives that he had also planned to kill his two surviving sisters whom much to his regret had left for school before he executed his plan. According to Lawrence he got inspiration from Killing Eve- a British TV series and had been reading two novels- Perfect Murders and Murder in the eve to learn how to execute the murders.

Why in the world would a 22year old commit such heinous crime? He felt his family members looked down on him and would constantly speak ill of him behind his back. I don’t know about you but I think that’s hardly a reason to kill anyone, there must have been something else.

A few days after this story had broken the internet, a Kisii High School student was charged with the attempted murder of two teachers. Unbelievable, right? The incident occurred when one of his teachers questioned him for arriving late. He was later to pounce on the teacher and another one of his colleagues with a knife in the staffroom where he had been sent to kneel down. Had enough? Sorry but we’re not done yet.

Barely a day later, a form two student at Mokwerero Secondary School in Kitutu Masaba was arrested for allegedly attempting to hack his Deputy Principal with a panga. According to a police report the 18year old student had stashed the panga inside his school bag. How about that, American children carry guns in their school bags while African children carry knives and pangas.

Three vile acts, within a span of two weeks, all by students. The government’s solution? Bring back corporal punishment. I mean are you freaking kidding me? Cane students who could potentially be carrying all sorts of lethal weapons in their school bags or plotting murders in their brains? How about we just jump into oncoming traffic.

This is obviously a psychological problem that can’t be fixed with a fifty strokes or slashing grass on a hot day. Our children need counselling. Something is obviously going wrong somewhere and someone needs to do something about it. And this something we’re talking about is counselling. Bringing in child psychologists to offer solutions and advice.

Having gone through the Kenyan education system, I can tell you for free that simply having “guiding and counselling” teachers in school does not help. Number one, these so called counsellors are not certified, they haven’t gone to school for that. The government needs to hire certified counsellors and psychologists to work in schools.

Lawrence Warunge’s story still weighs heavily on my heart. It’s something that will never leave me. I think about his two surviving sisters and what this horrendous act must have done to them psychologically and emotionally. It’s hard enough to lose a parent, but to lose both parents, a little brother and cousin? Then find out that your brother murdered them in cold blood? No one can ever be the same after that. You’re scarred for life.

If someone is out there listening, these girls need help. I don’t mean pay their school fees, pat them on the back and tell them to take heart, Jesus is the way the light and the truth. I mean professional help by a certified psychologist. They need consistent therapy sessions if they are to ever truly heal from this. As for Lawrence, some things only God can forgive but I hope he receives some form of counselling while he is serving his time.

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