Seek justice for students at Westbourne Grammar School

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Dear All,

I, Noah Kaddour am writing this to address the unfair treatment and the hardship that I have endured the past week by members of the Westbourne Staff specifically by Mr Jeremy Rowe and Mrs Sandra Jenkins. I am extremely distressed writing this letter, but this must be done to raise awareness of how I am being treated at Westbourne Grammar School while being involved in the so called “community”. 

My first encounter with both Sandra Jenkins and Jeremy Rowe took place on Thursday the 27th of February at approximately 12:00 pm. I was asked to sit down in a meeting room with my parents unaware of what was occurring. In this meeting, I was asked questions of any involvement in actions that had supposedly taken place at school. They asked if I filmed an encounter S***** and I***** had in class which I replied no and was told to stop lying. They told me that “a mate told them that I made references about girls to sit in my lap and about their thighs” which I then denied and was told to stop lying again. They stated that N***** had complained to them that D***** and I had sexually harassed her in class by touching her back which made her feel uncomfortable. This did not occur, and N***** had not spoken to either Jeremy Rowe or Sandra Jenkins, despite them saying she did. The school fabricated this story despite N***** bringing this up to them in a meeting and stating herself that she did not say anything to them and to not involve her in such false and disgusting accusations. Sandra Jenkins then later denied any involvement with N***** to my mother, only then to admit that N***** did not complain and that the accusation is false. After denying any involvement in these accusations, I was then laughed at in my face and told to stop lying and that being a bystander and laughing about S***** and I***** dispute is just as bad as being involved in it. However, there were roughly 10 people laughing about the dispute including women and the teacher herself who then later went on to say that she is feeling distressed about the boy’s attitude towards women and no longer wants to teach the class. 

After this meeting, I was told that I had been internally suspended and forced to sit alone in a room for 3 hours until the end of the day. When school finished, Mr Andrew McGregor approached me and informed me that I have been suspended on Friday and Monday and then I was dismissed. Being frustrated about the situation, I called my parents and told them that I’m suspended, and they were outraged as they had not received a phone call from the school, so they took it up with the school themselves. My mother called Sandra Jenkins and she stated that “Noah is in trouble for an isolated event, that event is what occurred in health class” my mother then replied saying “so he’s not in trouble for anything else?” and her reply was “no”. My parents were told that a few students (more than two) had been suspended, however only 2 students had been suspended, Sidney and I. 

My father phoned Jeremy Rowe on Thursday night and he scheduled for a meeting to take place the following Tuesday. In this meeting they did not want to discuss past events and the accusations and wanted to discuss future behaviours in order to stay at Westbourne which I had agreed to, these included basic things like staying out of trouble and abiding by the school’s code of conduct. At the end of this meeting, I was informed briefly to “go to the library instead of attending health class” by Jeremy Rowe. 

I went to the library at the start of period 5 instead of attending health and while I was there I was given a booklet to complete from my classmate D***** who was told to give it to me by the teacher. Unaware of the due date, I later walked to the health class, stood outside the room and asked the teacher if she could please come outside as I had a query. I asked her when the booklet was due, and she didn’t know so she asked the students and they did not know either, so I left and went back to the library. As I proceeded to complete the booklet I was approached by Sandra Jenkins. She stated that I was told not to attend the health class which I didn’t and because of it I am being suspended indefinitely until my parents organise a meeting with Ms Hansen the principal. Rather frustrated I got up and left as I could not handle the situation. 

At the bus depot at the end of the day, I witnessed I***** being escorted onto the bus by the school Reverend and Jeremy Rowe as if she had been a victim of some sort of abuse that she requires protection? I was then approached by Jeremy Rowe face to face who was very impolite and was told “not to go anywhere near I*****” and to “stay away from her”. I was then forced to sit alone at the front of the bus which is extremely unfair as a school is supposed to be neutral and not take sides. It is wrong especially for a school that “promotes equality” as this does not exemplify this so-called fairness that the school says they promote. If I am only in trouble for what has occurred in health class, then why is this occurring? Why am I being expelled? How is being a bystander in a small dispute worthy of an expulsion?

On Thursday the 5th of March, My parents had been asked to come in and have a meeting with Ms. Hansen (the principal) where the outcome was predetermined. They were not willing to discuss anything with my parents and I was expelled. Not only am I being expelled for unjustified events, but now these behaviours carry onto my school record which is then wanted by other schools. I will now be seeking legal action and carrying out this situation further.

This situation has affected me mentally and has taken a toll on my emotional wellbeing especially. I have not slept properly, eaten properly nor have I been able to express my emotions mainly as I am shocked and disgusted about what I have been put through by the school board. I am extremely embarrassed to have been falsely accused of such horrendous behaviours of which I was laughed at and told to “stop lying” upon denial. The school has not dealt with this issue in a professional and just manner and this needs to be addressed in order to seek justice for the discriminatory and biased treatment I have received. 

Below this statement is the Westbourne Grammar Suspension and Expulsion Policy and also quotes from their website of some of their claims. These exemplify where they have contradicted themselves and not abided by their own policy by the way that they’ve dealt with this situation.

Thankyou,                                                                                                                      Noah Kaddour

Principle…

“Westbourne Grammar School’s strong moral purpose, a conviction that every child can succeed, underpins all that we strive to achieve”

“dedicated teachers who empower their students and support them to be the best they can be”

“Our shared sense of community and partnership with our families in educating each and every child is fundamental to our students’ continued learning and wellbeing.  It is what makes this school a great school”

Student wellbeing...

”Our community values all members and promotes positive relationships, particularly between teachers and students”

“The School is committed to implementing the principles of Restorative Justice to encourage students to develop responsibility for their own actions. Restorative Practices have been incorporated into a whole school approach and is represented by a range of informal and formal strategies such as the use of effective language, restorative conversations, class circles and community conferencing.

Restorative Practices involve the use of transferable values and principles to promote social equity in relationships, empathy and personal accountability”

“Throughout the School there is a strong focus on healthy lifestyles, personal wellbeing, mental health, cyber safety, protective behaviours and generally caring for self.”

“the key is to develop a sense of commitment to social justice, diversity”

Policy Document 

Suspension and Expulsion Policy Drafted by Associate Principal Date of Last Review November 2019 Responsibility Heads of School; 

For Distribution Students, Staff and Parents 

Westbourne Grammar School aims to provide a safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment. Instances where there is a breach of school policies or school rules, the School will review the matter and determine the appropriate measures to be actioned. 

Grounds for Suspension The School may suspend a student if, while attending, or travelling to or from school, or engaged in any school- related activities (both on-campus and off-campus), the student: 

• behaves in such a way as to threaten or constitute a danger to the health, safety or wellbeing of any person; 

• commits an act of significant violence against a person or causes significant damage to or destruction of property or is knowingly involved in the theft of property; 

• possesses, uses, or deliberately assists another person to use prohibited drugs or substances; 

• fails to comply with any reasonable and clearly communicated instruction from the Principal, teacher or other staff member; 

• consistently behaves in a manner that interferes with the wellbeing, safety or educational opportunities of any other student; 

• consistently engages in behaviour that vilifies, defames, degrades or humiliates another person; or 

• consistently shows poor adherence to uniform standards or extreme idiosyncratic presentation. 

Students may be suspended from the School only with the approval of the Principal, Associate Principal or relevant Head of School. 

Students should only be excluded from school when all other reasonable measures have been implemented without success, or where an immediate suspension is regarded as the appropriate course of action given the student’s recent, and possibly, past behaviour. 

The time spent serving a suspension is an opportunity for all parties to consider the present difficulties and to develop student-based strategies for their improvement. 

In extreme cases, expulsion may occur at the sole discretion of the Principal. 

Policy Document 

Types of Suspension Immediate Suspension – as deemed appropriate, a student may receive an immediate suspension for the remainder of the day in question. In such cases parents will be notified and students will remain under supervision until the student can be picked up. 

Internal suspension – a student may complete a suspension at school but removed from the wider community of peers. In such a case the student will study at school in an agreed supervised area, and will take breaks at times different from their peers. 

External suspension – a student will not attend school and parents will be responsible for supervision of the student. 

Bus suspension – a student will not be allowed to use school buses for a certain period and parents will be responsible for providing alternative transport options. 

Period of Suspension In normal situations the period of suspension is one to five days. Heads of School can only make or approve an initial suspension of one day. Suspensions of a greater length must be approved by the Associate Principal or Principal after consideration of all information and after discussion with relevant staff. 

For a Bus suspension a first serious incident of anti-social behaviour will normally be for a period of no more than 4 weeks. A second serious offence will normally be for a period of no more than one term. A third serious offence could well result in permanent suspension from the bus service. At the Principal’s discretion extremely anti-social, violent, threatening or dangerous behaviour could result immediately in a permanent suspension even if it is a first offence. 

Procedure for Suspension Once the School has decided to impose a suspension the parents will be contacted by telephone as soon as possible. 

Parents will be advised the reasons and conditions of the suspension. A Return to School interview with the student, parents, relevant staff and Principal or Associate Principal will be organised as soon as possible. Other staff or advocates may be invited to attend as appropriate. It is the responsibility of the parents to attend this interview as soon as practically possible within reasonable business hours. 

The Head of House (Senior School) or Head of Campus (Junior School) will be notified and will carry out the 

DISCLAIMER: WGS policies and procedures are regularly undergoing review and revision. Please contact the Associate Principal if further clarification or information is required. Policy Version v3.0 Date of Next Review: November 2021 

Policy Document 

operational support of staff, parents and student regarding work missed and ongoing study until a return to school is allowed. 

The Behavioural Contract/Probation In some cases it will also be appropriate to form an ongoing agreement between the student, parents and the School, in the form of a behavioural contract. The student will be deemed to be under probation. This agreement or management plan will list positive behaviours required, negative behaviours to be avoided and the recommendation of appropriate counselling and/or undertaking of Restorative Practice processes. This document will also include a date for a review of the agreement and the person responsible for this review. The contract is to be signed by the student, a parent and a representative of the School. 

The signed contract will be filed and a copy will remain with the family of the student. The Head of House (Senior School) or Head of Campus (Junior School) will also receive a copy. 

Any student who clearly breaks the conditions of this agreement can expect their place at the school to be reviewed in a meeting with the Principal or Associate Principal and their parents. Other staff and advocates may attend such a meeting as appropriate. 

Confidentiality It is not appropriate for emails to be sent to all teaching staff outlining the details of the reasons behind a suspension. The Head of House (Senior School) or Head of Campus 9Junior School) should email the appropriate detail of the timing of the suspension so that teaching staff are aware of the period of absence from their classes and able to set appropriate work. 

The Connection Between Restorative Practice and Suspension The six stages of Restorative Practice are available on the School Portal. Restorative Practice is the School’s primary approach to managing behaviour and student well-being. 

The issue of suspension discussed in this document is separate, yet connected. The School believes that some incidents lend themselves to quite immediate consequences such as suspension. Other incidents do not necessarily cause harm to a specific individual or group and as such may be more difficult to resolve via Restorative Practice. It is also possible that suspension may be an agreed consequence arising out of Stages 4, 5 or 6 of the Restorative Practice flowchart. 

In many cases where a suspension is deemed necessary there will be opportunity provided to ‘back-end’ the relevant 

DISCLAIMER: WGS policies and procedures are regularly undergoing review and revision. Please contact the Associate Principal if further clarification or information is required. Policy Version v3.0 Date of Next Review: November 2021 

Policy Document 

parts of the Restorative Practice process so that there is the maximum opportunity to support the personal learning process. 

Expulsion In extreme situations, or after more than one suspension of any type, or where a student is under probation, the Principal may decide on expulsion. Parents are to be invited to a meeting at the school and the Chair of the School Council will be advised. 

Implementation The School will implement this policy through a combination of: 

• Effective school community communication; 

• Effective management of student behavioural incidents when reported; 

• Effective record keeping procedures; and 

• Initiation of remedial actions where necessary.