Lawyer threatens to sue gov’t over closure of British School

The defendant lawyer, Reech Ring Bol while addressing the media (photo William Madouk Garang)

By William Madouk Garang

An advocate and defense lawyer in the case of a school minor’s sexually assaulted has threatened to sue the Ministry of General Education and Instruction to court for unjustly suspending Mercy British International School.

Reech Ring Bol the defense lawyer, of the teacher implicated in the sexual assault case, has termed the suspension of Mercy British International School where his client teaches and allegedly sexually assaulted a 3 years old girl, described the suspension of the school over the matter as a ‘violation’

Advocate Bol had vowed to drag the government to court of law if the suspension is not lifted.

The defense lawyer stated his position after the Ministry of General Education and Instructions suspended the registration status of Mercy British International School over an alleged sexual assault on a three-year-old girl by a foreign female teacher.

Addressing journalists yesterday after first court hearing of the case at the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) court in Juba, advocate Bol alleged that there was a rumor that temporary closure of the school was based on directives by vice president for Service cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol.

“The closure of the school is a violation of the law itself of the education and the procedures which were taken were completely wrong.” Bol asserted.

“Now by closing this school whether it was a directive from Vice President or from Ministry of General Education they have completely affected number of students that were to sit exams. There are now over 200 students been affected,” the defense lawyer lamented.

He said based on legal interpretation crimes can happen in any institutions either by staff or individuals but that cannot lead to a total closure of the whole school which is an entity.

“I am appealing to them, [to take] urgent procedure of reopening the school otherwise as a lawyer we will initiate administrative review against that decision if it was issued by ministry we’ll sue the ministry in the court of the law. And if it was from vice president also we’ll sue the vice president in the court of the law,” advocate Bol warned.

Meanwhile in early June, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of General Education and Instructions, Kuyok Abol Kuyok said in a statement that the reported action goes against the General Education Act and therefore warranted suspending of the school.

“I am writing to inform you that the Ministry of General Education and Instructions (MoGE&I) has received a shocking report of teacher sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl in your school,” read partly the statement issued by Undersecretary Kuyok.

“MoGE&I is gravely concerned about this unprecedented assault of a child in a care of a teacher and as stipulated in the General Education Act, 2012, has therefore suspended the registration of your school with immediate effect until a proper investigation on the background of your staff is conducted.” Abol announced in an order issued earlier.

The education officials in a statement ordered the school administration to comply with the suspension directives and urged them to cooperate with the investigative team that would be sent to the school for further investigations.

Mercy International School was established in 2018. It is a co-educational, independent day school serving the international community at pre-school, primary, and secondary levels.

Guided by the British curriculum, it caters for children aged 18 months and young adults aged 18 years.

Though the child molesting incident occurred in March, the family lawyers said the child whose name was withheld had reported the alleged wrongdoing to her parents, who chose to have the child examined.

The medical results then compelled the mother to report the matter to the school administration, which denied the allegation.

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