Court overturns dagga-smoking pupil's expulsion from school

2015-10-28 15:53


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Durban – A prestigious private school in Ballito said it stood firmly behind its no drug policy after a high court ruled in favour of a pupil who was expelled after being bust for smoking dagga.

Durban High Court acting Judge Cassim Sardiwalla on Tuesday ruled that a 15-year-old grade 8 pupil at Ashton International College, be allowed to return to school.

The use of the substance was discovered during a random drug test done by the school. Sardiwalla said the process the school followed was flawed because it did not abide by its own policies and rules.

In a statement, the school said it was "not the ruling that Ashton International College were hoping for".

The school maintained that it had followed the correct procedure according to its code of conduct, but when it came to the disciplinary hearing, it opted to have the meeting chaired by an independent professional, "so as to give the student the full benefit of the doubt".

"Ashton has signed the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Policy together with many of the schools throughout the country against substance and drug abuse, especially in sport.

"Random drug tests are carried out throughout the country at both private and public schools. These policies are all signed by the parents and the students," the school said.

"As this is a very sensitive issue, with the end of the year fast approaching and examinations starting on November 9, Ashton offered the student an academic support programme which would have assisted him in preparing for the examinations at the end of the year. This offer was declined."

Joe Erasmus, executive head of the school, added: "At all times, the best interests of the students of this school is, and will remain, our priority. We will continue to strive for a drug-free campus and random drug tests will still be carried out."

The student in question did not return to the college on Wednesday, the school said.

Ashton has been given 30 days to lodge an appeal.

Read more on:    durban  |  education  |  crime

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