More than 3 students were injured yesterday at Lang'ata Road Primary, why arent we talking about the rest? #mentalhealth #trauma10:11:00 PM
As an offline activist or a local football supporter or just a Kenyan minding their business when either of the first two were present in the CBD, you must have faced some teargas action and it doesn't matter how hardcore you are, that experience isn't pretty, period...you aren't sure if you are crying, having a running nose or salivating. I speak as one who has faced teargas action both during peaceful demonstrations that police thought needed some teargas spice and on one occasion I went with the best friend for a Gor Mahia match (I pause for you to judge me for both or the latter...PS; Dear ladies, when you go for a demo or a Gor match, leave your heels at home...thank me later)
Those who may have not experienced it, you might have come close to having an idea of what it might feel like when they saw the students from Lang'ata Road Primary as they did #OccupyPlayground demo yesterday. Everyone has an angle to this, why were students demonstrating and pulling down walls? Why did the police use teargas on them? Why did the teachers allow them? Why did the government officials wait for today to talk about the said piece of land? Who owns the land and why is it in contest? Among many other questions and oooh today a government official came through to do an apology to the students and asks them in his opening if they were teargased the previous day daaaaaaaaa (PS: I have also slept in a police cell overnight and it wasn't pretty, so I am not naming names lest I disappear and appear in a CID room thanks to the many bills, did I just get myself in trouble...oooh well, that was not very clever of you official...I think you need is a hook you up with my girl Ilya for some Trauma Informed Communication.) So yeah, we are asking all these questions but we forget the humanness in these children, we rushed to check all their physical health and counted 3. Did y'all see the girl who was pressed against a wall wailing? Oh wait, she was just crying anyone would cry given the circumstances, right? Did you see the fear in those kids? Like yo, this wasn't a video game or a movie, it was real life and it was happening to them, to these kids there and then.
Above all those apologies and firing people and probing who owns the land and who doesn't and why they were putting up walls in school property, these kids mental health needs to be checked. At MMMF we deal with adults who have issues now because of things that happened in their childhood or when growing up. Different people have different ways they react to different things, not all kids may have been affected, some might have pictured themselves in a commando movie (I am that old) but for some, it was a horror movie and for that reason, they need some support...psychological support.
So as much as we counted 3 students with physical injuries, I bet there is a number who are psychological scarred and no one is asking them if they are ok and they will be forced every morning by their parents to go to school and thank the heavens the teacher's strike is done, they will be forced to go to the field they pulled down and got coverage from all over the world, they will be forced to push that trauma to the back of their minds until that trauma cannot be forced anymore. My 2 cents; the school should have sessions with the students and inform them that they can talk to the school counsellor (if they have one) incase of anything and also alert parents to watch out for any change in their child's behavior.