Girl seeks to overturn her expulsion from special needs school
A teenage girl with serious behavioural and psychological problems has brought a High Court challenge aimed at overturning her expulsion from a special needs school.
The 14-year-old girl, who has several disorders leading to “very challenging” behaviour and a history of assaulting members of her family, has been out of school since the start of the year.
Lawyers said the school had decided last February to exclude her permanently because the HSE had failed to provide the supports and services required by her and it believed her expulsion was in the interests of other pupils.
In proceedings brought by her father, orders are sought quashing her expulsion and requiring provision of the education and support services she requires without which, it is claimed, she may suffer irreparable loss and damage.
The action is against the Minister for Education, the HSE, the school’s board of management, a Department of Education committee that heard her appeal against expulsion, Ireland and the Attorney General.
Mark de Blacam SC, for the girl, said yesterday she had a moderate intellectual disability, mixed emotional and conduct disorder, a history of attachment disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and possible foetal alcohol syndrome.
Her behaviour was “very challenging” due to her illnesses, he said.
She entered the school, which was deemed the most suitable for her needs, in September 2010, but in January of this year was suspended for disruptive behaviour.
The expulsion did not comply with the Education Act because the school did not tell the education welfare officer of its decision, Mr de Blacam added. It should also be quashed because it was made in the absence of up-to-date psychological and psychiatric reports.
Mr Justice Michael Peart granted the ex parte (one side only represented) application for leave to bring judicial review proceedings.