A primary 5 pupil at Ntayigilwa Primary School in Ikumbya sub-county, Luuka district, was apprehended on Tuesday after trying to harm his teacher as revenge for being disciplined for arriving late to school. The eleven-year-old pupil allegedly prepared three pieces of roasted maize, which he adulterated with a poisonous plant to poison his teacher, Steven Lubaale.
Initially, his plan was to present the maize as a gesture of gratitude to his “teachers.” However, upon discovering that Lubaale was absent, he withdrew the maize and concealed it in a black plastic bag. When other teachers inquired about the maize, as they were also his educators, the student became evasive and took refuge in the classroom, insisting that he would only give the maize to his favorite teacher, Lubaale.
When one of his classmates attempted to take the plastic bag and consume some of the maize due to hunger, the student warned against eating it, arousing suspicion. Lubaale questioned the student about why he neither ate the maize nor shared it with others, prompting the student to confess that he had poisoned it with the intention of harming him.
The student claimed to have experienced severe physical punishment and public humiliation from the teacher. The school administration declined to comment on the incident, stating that the student has been handed over to the Ikumbya Police Station for further investigation. During questioning, the student revealed that his mother, who operates a shrine in the area, aided him in mixing the poison and applying it to the maize before roasting it.
The student explained that he had been a victim of bullying by fellow students who witnessed his mistreatment without being given an opportunity to explain his reasons for being late. Feeling that his self-respect had been undermined, he decided to poison Lubaale. John Oese, the Luuka District Police Commander, disclosed that counseling sessions will be arranged for the student, his parents, and school administrators to address the underlying issues and prevent such hostilities in the future.
Meanwhile, the student will be temporarily placed in the care of close relatives until his parents return, in order to foster understanding and resolve the matter collectively. Wilberforce Ntumba, the Ikumbya sub-county LC III chairperson, expressed concern about the escalating criminal behavior among schoolchildren in their community. He attributed this to the lack of parental guidance in shaping acceptable values and the influence of unregulated cinemas showing fictional movies.