Fifty three students have been expelled from two of the leading high schools in Ghana for being gay.
The events have erupted into an anti-gay media frenzy in Ghana.
Ninteen pupils at Opoku Ware Secondary High School in Ashanti Ghana were dismissed for ‘practicing homosexuality’ in the school.
Ghanaian human rights activists are condemning the school’s action as ‘evil’ and ‘bad’ and are calling for the government to intervene.
According to Radio XYZ, four out of the 19 students are in their first year while 15 are second and final year students in one of the country’s most prestigious Catholic educational institutions.
A teacher who ‘confirmed the story’ stated parents of all the students involved were contacted before their children were expelled from the school.
The radio also reported that the students had ‘managed’ to form a ‘society’ on campus and regularly meet to discuss how to ‘convince’ more students to practice the ‘act’.
Recently, over 34 girls were dismissed from the Wesley Girls Senior High School in Kumasi for engaging in ‘lesbianism’.
The Ghana Herald reported the event in a sensationalist anti-gay language: ‘The revered and leading second cycle females’ institutions in the country is on the brink of losing its social and moral standing in the Ghanaian society over the despicable act of lesbianism.
‘A month long investigations carried out by The Herald have established a worrying revelation that at the time religious groups and civil societies are waging a relentless war against same sex sexual intercourse, the students of the school established by the Methodist Church, have been indulging in the bestial and detestable act of lesbianism.’
Human rights activists in Ghana said the idea that gay students are ‘recruiting’ others into homosexuality raises serious doubts about what exactly happened.
Such a statement by school authorities indicates imported homophobic ideas from US Christian groups and casts serious questions about the whole manner these incident were handled.
Speaking with Gay Star News, Mac-Darling Cobbinah, director for the Center for Popular Education and Human Rights, Ghana (CEPEHRG) slammed the actions of school authorities.
He commented that outing students to their parents is irresponsible and dangerous and expelling them from school is disastrous to their future.
Cobbinah said: ‘I think that the expelling is bad and even evil.
‘Students are sent to school to be sensitized and educated.
‘If found to be of any negative influence, the best to the best of my knowledge is to get the young people involved in counseling and monitoring to enable them change behaviors or support to supprt them in coping with the situation.
‘The act of expelling young people is unacceptable and cripples these young people’s futures.
‘Many youth whose education is incomplete could end up on the streets and eventually be pushed into a life of crime.
‘The religious school mishandling of the students is the problem, not their sexuality.
‘The schools should follow their religious ethics – learning to love, care and support each other as the Bible mentions’.
Cobbinah added: ‘I think Ghana’s minister of gender, children and social protection, Nana Oye Lithur, should intervene in this situation and get the children back to the class room and ensure their protection.
‘That is part of her job – to protect the vulnerable in society’.