Personally, I always had something to sue my school over. There were so many injustices I felt were done to us by the administration that warranted them to pay for damages. But a school is a law unto itself. Students are classified as minors and their opinion does not count for squat. In the school, the administration is royalty. The principal’s word is law and woe unto you if for any reason he dislikes you. Principals are people and thus have their prejudices. If you fall into the list of the kind of people the principal dislikes then you will have it rough. Students get expelled right, left, centre for no apparent reason. Sure, there are those who deserve the expulsion but in among the guilty, lots of innocents are caught.
That is why I applaud the move to court by the St. Gee girls expelled for allegedly being lesbians. It is positive action toward bringing some change in the old ways where the administration thinks it is their God given right to expel anyone they term guilty. Cutting off someone’s education should not be easy as it is at the moment. You will recall the ministry tried to bring forth some reforms. Disciplinary committees were formed and all that other codswallop but in effect, it is just a farce since these committees are primarily composed of staff members and we all know where their loyalties lay.
In this case, the disciplinary committee comprised the principal and her two deputies. How on earth could they judge the girls impartially? Objectivity is the central pillar upon which judgment is founded. These teachers, with their previous knowledge of the girls, cannot help but be subjective. The two sides have different stories to tell. The school claims the girls were found engaging in lesbian acts but does not expound on the matter. The girls claim to have been revising when they accidentally dozed off. The deputy found them and told them to explain their ‘sleepover’, one thing led to another and bam, expulsion.
That the two stories differ is only to be expected. The administration and students have never been on the same page. But the validity of the two stories is beyond the point. These were form four students with only about six months to sit their final exams. Expelling them at such a time speaks volumes of what the school thinks about the girls’ futures. In simple language, it does not give a rat’s fart. One thing I am sure of is that these girls were on the black list. When the admin wants you out, you will have to go. It is as simple as that but it has not to be that way and the move by St Gee girls shows that there is hope for a time when principals will be held to account for wrongful and unlawful expulsions.
If this passes and the court decides in favour of the students, it will open the gates for the law to take root in institutions. Awareness levels need to be risen where students understand their basic rights and failure of provisions of this by the administration will lead to prosecution. For instance, how different would things be if all students knew that it was against their rights to be caned or subjected to any form of corporal punishment?