St George’s official defends student’s suspension
A senior official at St George’s College has countered a report that a student was given a week’s suspension for recording and posting to social media a video that is believed to have embarrassed the school. The official, who asked not to be...
A senior official at St George’s College has countered a report that a student was given a week’s suspension for recording and posting to social media a video that is believed to have embarrassed the school.
The official, who asked not to be identified because of no authorisation to speak on the matter, said that the fourth-form student was suspended for two days and instructed to participate in three days’ internal community service for the use of his cellphone during school hours.
“What he did is a suspendable offence and the school has acted. Rules are rules, and St George’s College is able to maintain its standards because of its rules. We’re preparing young men for life,” the source argued.
The Gleaner source said that the boy’s parents, who are quoted elsewhere in the media as being furious over an alleged seven-day suspension, were disingenuous about the matter.
The source said that the boy’s mother was given two letters at the same time – one outlining the seven-day suspension that was contemplated and the other indicating a final decision that he would only be suspended for the two days.
According to the source, administrators did not want the boy out of school for a long time, but had to hold him accountable for breaching the school’s cell phone policy.
He is to return to school on Monday.
“It suits his mother to tell the media that he got seven days’ suspension so that’s what she did,” the source said.
The boy’s mother has been reported in the media as calling for the school to rescind the seven-day suspension.
The Gleaner contacted board chairman Father Rohan Tulloch for clarity, but he declined to comment on the matter, referring the newspaper to Principal Margaret Campbell.
Tulloch said that he did not have all the facts and so could not comment.
The Gleaner was unable to reach Campbell for comment.
The student is said to have recorded a video of a broken fan installed in a classroom, which he posted it on TikTok, along with a song that captured the treatment of the poor.
It reportedly had more than 80,000 views before it was deleted.
In the video, the fan is seen dangling dangerously from the ceiling while spinning.
Room not in use
The Gleaner source said the room in which the broken fan was located was not in use on the day the student recorded the video and noted that it was repaired the day after it was brought to administrators’ attention.
“The boys were not in danger,” the source said, noting that the fan was damaged by students who constantly threw their bags in the air hitting it.
Section 30 of the Education Regulations says that the principal of a public educational institution may suspend a student for a period not exceeding 10 days if that student’s presence at the institution is having or is likely to have a detrimental effect on the discipline of the institution.
A student may also be suspended for any act which causes injury to any member of staff or to any other student.
It says where the principal suspends a student, notice must be given to the school’s student council, parent or guardian and a report with the reason for suspension to the school board.
The board is to investigate the matter and may rescind the suspension or further suspend the student for a period not exceeding five school days beyond the period of suspension already given.
The board may also instruct the principal to expel the student and inform the education minister.