School Expels K-1 Pupil for Alleged Witchcraft

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Students at play at the TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation

— Parents plead for gov’t, CSOs intervention; say no money to send child to another school

By Aryee Davis

A school in Paynesville has expelled one of its students for the child’s alleged involvement in witchcraft activities. Though without any form of proof, TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, located in the Rehab Community, recently asked the parents of the six-year-old kindergarten student to stop sending her to the school.

According to the parents of the child, who we shall refer to as Miemie to protect her identity, the school expelled her in a bid to prevent the child from potentially harming other students through the alleged witchcraft activities.

Located just a few minutes from President George Weah’s residence, the administration of TYNECEPLOH has been in existence for just over a year. Little Miemie was among the first batch of students who started attending the school when it was established last academic year. The school’s administrators admitted to the Daily Observer that the child was expelled, but refused to disclose the reason for the expulsion.

The child’s parents are pleading with the government and human rights advocates to probe the case to enable her to be reinstated.

When asked whether the allegation against her is true, Miemie burst into tears. She denied ever being a witch, insisting that the school administration’s action against her was based on rumors spread by her classmates.

Her expulsion from the newly established primary school comes in the wake of the harsh economic constraints that Liberians are being faced with as parents struggle to fend for their kids and at the same time send them to school.

“My friends lied on me to my teacher so they say I should not go to school again. Every day, when I see my friends going to school I can be crying. I want to go back to school. I miss my friends and my teacher,” Miemie explained.

To make matters worse, Miemie is now being stigmatized by her neighbors because of the same ‘witchcraft’ allegations. Some families in the neighborhood have banned their children from associating with her.

“My friends in my yard can’t play with me again; they are afraid of me, and only my small brother and I can play,” she added.

“I was on my way to the school on Tuesday morning, I received a message from my daughter’s teacher, only known as Ruth, that I should go on the campus as they wanted to see me. So I went there to find out what happened and, shockingly to me, I was told to take my daughter home,” Miemie’s mother explained.

“When I got on the campus, I met my daughter’s class sponsor, the principal, and the proprietor, who told me that my daughter’s classmates told their teacher that Miemie said she will kill the teacher, the principal, and suck the children’s blood. For this reason, she will not attend school again. The next day, my aunty and I went on the campus to appeal for Miemie to end the school year but they told me that their decision is final,” Miemie’s mother continued.

Miemie’s grandmother, who sells boiled cassava and coconut to pay the child’s tuition, could not hold back her tears at the allegation. “How can this six-year-old child kill her teacher, principal and suck her classmates’ blood? I took care of this child from birth because her father is not working I have never seen anything relating to witchcraft about my grandchild,” she said.

Napoleon Chattah, Proprietor, TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation

The proprietor of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, Napoleon Chattah, confirmed to this reporter that the child has been expelled from the school but declined to state the actual reason for or details concerning the expulsion.

When asked to see the Principal of the school, the proprietor, who was now visibly irritated, said that the principal was not available to speak because he had gone out to run some errands for the school.

“I’m the best person to provide answers to all the inquiries,” Mr. Chattah sharply replied.

But a source from the school that asked not to be named hinted that the administration of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation told Miemie’s parents to take her to pastors for what they termed as ‘deliverance prayers’, after which the parents will provide a note from the church or pastor confirming that the child is free from witchcraft practices before being accepted back in school.

According to the source, Miemie’s expulsion is on the basis that she’s a witch and that her presence at the school would be dangerous for other kids sharing a class with her.

With this argument, the source continued, the school is insinuating that little Miemie has the power of the ‘dark world’ and could potentially initiate other students.

Sources who are well experienced in the deliverance of suspected or known witches told the Daily Observer that those who practice witchcraft activities have the ability to initiate others. “It is often held that parents, close relatives or friends who are witches often find it easy to initiate other children into the practice. It is also believed that children who are members of the dark world are frequently sent on missions by their superiors to recruit or sometimes harm their peers,” one deliverance minister, who requested not to be named, explained.

Miemie’s parents are however calling on the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Child Rights advocacy groups to probe what they consider to be an unjust decision by the school.

Asked why Miemie cannot be taken to another school, the mother said she cannot afford it because there is no money.

“The little money we had at the beginning of the school year is what we used to register our daughter. We do not have any money to take her to another school,” she said, adding, “If even we could raise a little money, we will not be able to also send her to a faraway school because schools within the community might not accept her because of the allegation. This is why we are calling on relevant authorities to probe into the situation to clear our daughter’s name.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Stupid people! Ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Still believe in backwards foolishness and now putting this girl and her family in danger for what?!

  2. We have followed stories of children being abused and mistreated under allegations of witchcraft, and in the end the children have died horribly. These issues need to be thoroughly investigated. Without tangible proof, a school may not expel a student, but if they insist, the school must refund tuitions paid. What wicked and superstitious behavior is this?

  3. Liberia, oh Liberia, this beautiful country with so many stupid people!

    Where are the people, we called lawyers? Where are the civil society organizations? Where are the priests, pastors and imams? Where are the human rights activists?
    How come on earth you called yourself proprietor of an educational institution and will be this brash and inhumane?
    If you no longer want the child to attend your school, reimburse the fees paid and give her a transcript to enroll in another school.

    The witchcrafts in this case are Mr. Chattah, the teacher and classmates who claimed this innocent child is a witch.
    By the way, only a witch knows another witch and anyone with extra spiritual endowment.
    Little Miemie may just be an outstanding or smart child with extraordinary knowledge or gift for which she’s been envied by those witchcrafts who claimed to be normal human beings.

    A charitable lawyer or advocacy group should look into this case for justice to be done!

    • Let’s not jump to conclusions; until we know all facts, pertaining to this matter. There’s an on going investigation. Let’s hear from the school’s principal. Quite often, Liberians are quick at jumping to conclusions; based solely on here say…

  4. The allegations of “WITCHCRAFT” were not officially made-directly by the school; against the student-involved. However, the student had been over heard, talking about “killing her fellow students”. If that can be proven, the school reserves the right to take appropriate action; rather than regret later. That [REPORTER]; who wrote the story, did his job/reporting very poorly. He did not give his readers any evidence; to substantiate his [STORY]. Did the school officially inform the [REPORTER] or the child’s guardians/parents, that their child was been dismissed from school, because of her involvement in “WITCHCRAFT”? *Let’s not jump to conclusions in every matter. It’s simply wrong! “The Principal is the right person; to explain the reason(s) for the EXPULSION” as a staffer from the school stated. EXACTLY! 😅

    • You seem to know a heck of a lot more about this story than the people who are living in Liberia — maybe you have already returned “home”. Are you and this innocent little child attending the same school and sitting in the same classroom?

      I know you very, very well but you no longer sound like the caring, empathetic person you portrayed yourself to be in Danane.

      If you want a job in Oppong’s government, I believe that you can apply for a job by presenting your professional Work Experience along with your Academic Credentials.

      Please stop the butt-licking.

    • The article says the reporter gave the school the opportunity to comment and they chose not to. The school could have easily said something along the lines of “We do not punish students for allegations of witchcraft, but will not comment at this time on particular instances of student discipline.” The fact that they didn’t is telling.

  5. Are you threatening me? Warningshot/Buttl-Licker whatever you call yourself, it’s very cleared.
    You are portraying/projecting your [OWN] image through others. Make no mistakes about it. I’ve got contacts; who can very easily track you. *Hey fellow; an under cover elephant can not hide. No matter what you call yourself.

    • @# WARNINGSHOT; You seem to have problems with reading comprehension. By the way, the story is also written in Frontpage Africa. Tell me/us, where it’s written that the school informed; THE LITTLE GIRL’S PARENTS, PARENTS/ GUARDIANS THAT THEIR CHILD WAS PUT OUT OF SCHOOL; BECAUSE OF “WITCHCRAFT”…

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