2 Secondary pupils challenge expulsion in court.
Two teenage boys have instituted an action in court challenging their expulsion from school for posting videos on the social media, showing a classmate ingesting a white substance during lectures.
The two boys, whose identity could not be disclosed for legal reasons, were both informed last month of the decision of the schools management board to exclude them from the secondary institution they attend.
The decision to expel them, which is subject to further formalization was arrived at, having established the boys’ culpability in a breach of school rules. School authorities found that their action poses a serious threat to orderliness and discipline of everybody after a classmate asked them to record a video of him snorting a white powder.
The incident, which occurred during lessons were unknown to the teacher present; though posted on the internet, was not believed to have been seen by many, in case of one of the boys.
One of the pupils’ mothers drew the attention of the school to the video, out of fear of the safety of her son and other students in the school.
Counsels to the boys, maintained that the decision of the schools management to expel the pupils amounts to a fundamental infringement of fair procedures and constitutional justice, describing it as disproportionate. The argue further that the board erred in not considering the school principal’s advice against the boys’ expulsion.
It is also claimed the students were told to make statements without being warned the statements would be used against them in a disciplinary process and that they could be expelled.
Barney Quirke appearing with Andrew Whelan appearing for one of the boys said he was making the application because the student is due to sit for his Leaving Certificate examinations next June. The counsel said his client has special needs and has a good disciplinary record, which did not seem to be taken into account by the board
Even if the appeal was successful, counsel said it could be well into the new year before the student could return to school, and a lot of valuable time would be lost.
.Derek Shortall, for the second student, said his client’s action was brought on similar grounds to the other boy, although his client had some previous disciplinary matters, including a suspension for swearing.
The matter will return before the court tomorrow.