High court to rule on application by two suspended Leaving Certs on Wednesday

Both students face expulsion over video of classmate snorting white powder substance

The High Court heard that following an investigation, the students, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were informed the school board of management had made a “preliminary decision” they should be excluded.

The High Court heard that following an investigation, the students, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were informed the school board of management had made a “preliminary decision” they should be excluded.

 

An application by two suspended Leaving Certificate students for orders allowing them return to school will be decided by the High Court on Wednesday.

Both students are facing expulsion for videoing and posting on social media a classmate snorting some white powder substance, which turned out to be sugar, during class.

Details of the incident were published in a daily newspaper.

Following an investigation, the students, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were informed the school board of management had made a “preliminary decision” they should be excluded.

The board found the students had behaved in a manner that posed a serious threat to the good order and discipline of the school.

The board’s final decision on their futures at the school is scheduled for Friday.

The students have brought proceedings against the school aimed at quashing a decision which they claim was reached in breach of fair procedures and their rights to an education.

As part of the actions, Mr Justice Max Barrett heard their application for injunctions allowing them return to school pending the outcome of their actions.

The board of management, represented by Feichin McDonagh SC and Joe Jeffers BL, argued the students action is premature and the court had no jurisdiction to lift their suspensions.

Barney Quirke SC, with Andrew Whelan BL, for one of the students, said the school’s decision was “flawed and could never be upheld”.

His client wanted to get on with the processes arising out of the board’s findings but needed to be in school until matters have been concluded.

Derek Shortall BL, for the second student, said his client also wants to see out the processes but is being “penalised for doing the right thing” because of the time it takes to go through any process including a potential appeal.

Unless his client was allowed back into school, his year was “kaput” because of the time it would take to go through the various processes to challenge the board’s decision, he said.

The judge reserved his decision on the injunction applications to Wednesday.