Parent petitions court to block suspension, expulsion of student over alleged misconduct

Parent petitions court to block suspension, expulsion of student over alleged misconduct
Photo: Justice. Photo/Courtesy

The father of a Form One student at Pioneer Girls School in Kiambu county has petitioned the High Court to block her suspension and possible expulsion for alleged misconduct.

The aggrieved parent wants the Board of Directors of Nova Group, which owns private academies, stopped from convening a meeting on Monday to discuss the two-week suspension slapped against the 14-year-old student on May 16.

Lawyer Kenneth Ndung’u Mburu Friday lodged an urgent judicial review application seeking to circumvent the disciplinary action taken by the school’s administration on May 13 after the student was taken by her mother to see an optician after attending the Academic Day at the Kikuyu campus.

“The school breached the petitioner’s constitutional right to education under Article 43 (f) of the Constitution. The right to education cannot be curtailed through a totally flawed disciplinary hearing that relied on hearsay evidence,” the lawyer said.

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He explained that the girl’s mother was given permission by the duty teacher to take her daughter to see the optician and signed her out in accordance with the school’s regulations.

Upon return to school, the girl’s mother was reportedly asked by the Principal, Dr Joy Kiano, to leave with the daughter for allegedly absconding and to report back on May 15.

No formal suspension letter was handed to the girl’s mother who was orally informed that her daughter was involved in bullying and engaging in scuffles with other students, according to court papers.

After the girl’s father protested at the harsh treatment, the Principal promised to consult the Managing Director of the Nova Group, Oliver Sabot. The girl’s father said in a sworn statement that Sabot said the Board of Directors would meet on May 16 to review the two-week suspension and give an opportunity to the student to respond to the allegations contained in a letter that was back-dated to May 13.

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The student had given her formal statement and the father was then handed the May 16 suspension letter requiring her to present herself before the board on Monday.

The father said the school administration had become hostile and resurrected past incidents to justify her unlawful suspension. The girl had reportedly told her mother during the April holidays, who informed the Dean of Residency at the Kikuyu campus, about suspect nocturnal activities and possible sexual misconduct between the room-mates. The suit will be heard on Monday.

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