Cameroon: School expels 2 allegedly lesbian students

The principal of the illustrious Etoile School in Douala, Cameroon, has expelled two students for alleged lesbianism.

Collège Étoile à Douala (Photo de Facebook)
The Etoile School in Douala, Cameroon (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

By Steeves Winner

The principal of the school, Emile Ndongo, has a reputation as a strict disciplinarian. He defended his harsh action in blatantly homophobic terms:

“Homosexuality is an animal baseness. My institution is not a homosexual dump,” he said.

Both students are 19 years old.

Sym (a pseudonym) said that both she and her girlfriend Kys (also a pseudonym) “scrupulously respected the rules of the college. We never misbehaved when we met at school or when we were with friends.”

Kys stated:

Collège Étoile à Douala (Photo de Wasamundi)
The Etoile School in Douala, Cameroon (Photo courtesy of Wasamundi)

“On Feb. 15, 2018, at around 8 a.m., when we arrived at the college, the principal invited us to his office. We were curious, so we accepted without complaining. As soon as he entered the office, he informed us that someone at the school had told him that we are homosexuals.””We were thunderstruck. We tried to make him listen to reason and asked for proof of the accusation. But he refused to budge in his belief. He expelled us from school and asked a guard to escort us out.

“We were speechless. We could not defend ourselves.”

A statement about the incident was posted at the entrance of the school, calling Kys and Sym “personae non grata.”

When the girls’ parents learned what had happened, they decided to cover up the incident rather than risk damage to anyone’s reputation by appealing for justice for their daughters.

Sym is no longer attending any school.

After a few days at home, Kys begged her father to allow her to attend classes at a different school. She had to promise him never to see Sym again.

Kys says she suffers without being able to meet with Sym — so much so that she cannot concentrate on her studies

Steeves Winner, the author of this article, is an activist for LGBTI rights in Cameroon who writes under a pseudonym.

He comments about this article: “What happened to the right to education for all in Cameroon?”

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.


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