Court reverses expulsion of boy, 9,

A MOTHER armed with a court order, took her child back on Wednesday to Cedar Grove Private Primary School in Palmiste, near San Fernando, following his expulsion last week Monday.

She petitioned Justice Frank Seepersad who at 9.15 pm on Tuesday, granted the order directing the school’s principal to allow the Grade 3 pupil back to school.

According to court documents, the High Court action stemmed from allegations of bullying in which a door was slammed against the boy at the school located at Chin Aleong Street, Block 3, Palmiste.

The action named the school, principal Shaheed Allaham, Flair Rampersad, Allison Sebro-Baptiste and Jenny Ramkissoon, as defendants. The judge’s order was served on them yesterday morning and the child was allowed entry to his classroom.

The mother alleged in the injunction that on January 17, a boy kicked open a door which struck her son, nine, throwing him on the ground. He ran to his classroom crying. His parents rushed him to the doctor for an injured arm. She said that the school never officially informed her about the incident.

She said that that her son was placed in front of the Grade IV classroom and told her was a liar. And, on another occasion, he was sent to the principal’s office where he was told, “that his eyes and ears were not ‘wuking good.’” He was interrogated about making up a story about being struck and bullied.

The mother said she sought the school’s intervention for a meeting with the parents of the children who pushed the door and who called him an idiot, but the school pleaded with her to drop the issue.

The mother raised an issue about how a teacher subjected the class to a lecture about children who lied and directed her comments to the boy.

Granting the injunction, Seepersad said, “Bullying is a serious issue. Any child who makes such a complaint should be taken seriously. In this case the court feels with a high degree of assurance that it will be established that the child was bullied. There is medical evidence which supports his claim of being struck on the arm and there is no evidence to suggest that the child has psychological issues.

“Our children must be protected and a school should be a safe haven. No child should be ridiculed for advancing a legitimate complaint and the balance of convenience favours the granting of injunctive relief so as to ensure the rights of the child to an education, is preserved.”

The judge ordered the school to ensure the boy’s physical, emotional well being, safety and to desist from accusing him publicly of being a liar.

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