The case of AM vs Premier Academy (2017) is Constitutional Petition No.55 of 2017. The petitioner was a minor accused of bullying. She was suspended from Premier Academy for harassment, repeatedly using vulgar language, scribbling obscene messages and drawings on another student’s book, being disrespectful to prefects and sending abusive messages on a public online group platform.
She was asked to keep off school grounds pending disciplinary procedures and her parents were called 3 times to attend the proceedings but failed to appear.
The petitioner claimed she was denied the opportunity to defend herself against the accusations. She also alleged that she had previously been subjected to cruel treatment from the school through cruel forms of punishment, psychological abuse and being forced to sign statements on admissions on allegations made which were later used against her.
The petition was dismissed and the suspension was justifiable citing the numerous acts of indiscipline on the part of the petitioner. Also, the petition was filled prematurely. The petitioner was suspended, not expelled, therefore a final decision about her fate had not been made. Her right to a fair hearing had not been denied as she, together with her parents had ignored several summons to the school disciplinary proceedings.
The right to education and acting in the best interest of the child in accordance with Section 4 of the Children’s Act were considered. However, the court held that these rights are limited and are weighed against other’s rights such as the students being harassed and bullied who are also entitled to a safe learning environment.