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Girl takes High Court action against primary school over alleged failure to stop harassment from male student

The action follows concern for the girl’s safety on the school premises.

A PRIMARY SCHOOL student and her father have brought High Court proceedings against the school she attends over its alleged failure to protect her from a boy in her class she says has bullied and assaulted her.

In an action against the school’s board of management, the girl and her father claim the school has not taken any appropriate steps to deal with the other child who has allegedly assaulted her, touched her inappropriately, bullied, harassed and abused her over the last two-and-a-half years.

The students and the school cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The girl and her father claim that the action has been taken over concerns for the girl’s safety at the school.

Over the last two years, it is claimed that the boy has pushed and kicked the girl, used inappropriate language towards her, thrown a book at her, and pulled up her skirt in front of the other students.

It is claimed that the girl was bullied in reprisal after she reported inappropriate behaviour by the boy towards her to a teacher.

The girl’s father claims that meetings with the school’s principal have not resolved his concerns, and says that they have not treated the other students behaviour as bullying and harassment.

The girl’s father claims that his requests that his daughter and the alleged bully not to be seated together in class have not been acceded to and no reasons for refusing his requests have been given.

The father claims that the school has asserted to him that without express evidence the issues that occurred to his daughter may have been accidental on the part of the other student.

In a more recent incident, it is claimed that the girl required medical attention and suffered injury after being kicked by the other child.

The father says he has made complaints to the school and bodies including Gardaí, Tusla and Child Protection Services.

The girl, who has been upset and traumatised by what has happened, has been absent from the school for a period of time.

Her father says that in light of everything he claims has occurred, he wants the school to take various steps to ensure that she is not exposed to a more serious injury.

As a result, the plaintiffs have asked the High Court for various orders including injunctions directing the school’s board of management to keep the girl separated from the other student at all times in the school, and that the other student not be in attendance in the same classroom at the same time as the girl.

The plaintiffs also seek an order requiring teachers at the school to report any incidents of harm and bullying to the girl’s parents without delay.

Orders requiring the school to complete its investigations into complaints raised by them in relation to the various allegations of wrongdoing by the other student and that reasonable steps to ensure the girl’s safety are taken while she is at school have also been sought.

The plaintiffs further seek damages against the school for the alleged breaches of the girl’s constitutional and statutory rights, and for breach of contract.

The matter came before Mr Justice Brian Cregan today.

The Judge on an ex parte basis granted the applicants permission to serve short notice of the injunction proceedings on the school’s board of management.

The case will return before the court later this week.

Aodhan O Faolain