Court rejects suit by former special needs student over special education school services

03 Feb 2023 08:53pm
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIC
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIC
KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court here today has dismissed a suit filed by a former student of a special education secondary school against the school and three others, including the Malaysian Government, for failing to provide quality special education for him.

Judge Datuk Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad in her judgment said the court found that the defendants have not breached the law of negligence in providing a safe and secure environment for students with special needs.

"Furthermore, the court found no oral evidence from the plaintiff’s witnesses in support of his averment of the defendants’ duties to provide special education, facilities and services for special-needs students,” the judge said after considering the evidence from all 22 witnesses.

On May 26, 2017, the student, now 25 years old, filed the suit through his adoptive mother and named the school principal, the Malaysian Government, the school and the Education Ministry as defendants.

Judge Nik Hasmat said the court also found the plaintiff’s averment on the defendant for failure to provide a structured education system for special-needs students that is consistence with their capability and requirement to be mere bare averment and an afterthought.

The court also found that the plaintiff failed to prove the four alleged incidents of bullying as the police investigation into the matter failed to find any evidence of the alleged bullying or witnesses to the alleged bullying.

"There was no evidence of fighting, even from the police investigations. The bullying incidents have not been proven,” the judge said.

She further said that if the plaintiff's adoptive mother was unhappy with the son's situation at the school, the next best option was to withdraw the son from the school.

"However, the son continued to remain in the school until the completion of his studies there. The claims are, therefore, unsubstantiated. In the entirety of the evidence, I have to dismiss the plaintiff's claims,” she said.
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She also ordered the plaintiffs to pay RM10,000 in costs.

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo represented the youth while Federal Counsel Safiyyah Omar acted for the defendants.

In the statement of claim, the plaintiff who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was four and has a leg issue which makes it difficult for him to sit on the floor, claimed that he was registered at the special-education secondary school on Jan 18, 2016, and was given accommodation at the school hostel.

The plaintiff claimed that he was bullied several times by other students when he was at the hostel, including being spit at while he was praying, tied to his bed, punched and kicked, and having his belongings stolen.

He claimed that no action was taken by the school and its principal, despite numerous complaints lodged.

In the statement of defence filed on July 24, 2017, the school stated that the placement of the student concerned was made based on the choice made by the boy and his adoptive mother during registration - BERNAMA

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