Monday 22 January 2018

Boy expelled for having sex in a store room has expulsion overturned

John Bingham

A BRITISH school boy expelled over claims of sex in a store room has had the decision overturned after the allegations were blamed on a Facebook smear campaign.

Trevor Evans, 17, was expelled from West Kirby Grammar School, in Liverpool, in October last year amid rumours that he and his then girlfriend had had sex in a store cupboard and a school lavatory.

But an independent tribunal has thrown out the school’s decision, ruling that it failed to investigate the claims properly and took action without proper evidence.

The pair, who were 16 at the time, were forced to leave the school after the claims, posted on Facebook, came to the attention of teachers.

They were initially suspended, but just 48 hours later Trevor’s mother, Honora Evans, received a letter from the head teacher saying that he was being permanently excluded.

The girl, however, was "asked to leave" rather than be formally expelled meaning that she had no permanent exclusion on her record, an appeal hearing was told.

Mrs Evans appealed against the decision to an independent panel of the local authority which moderates in disputes over issues such as school places and exclusions.

The adjudication panel sits like a tribunal with a lay member chairing proceedings but with a former governor and head from elsewhere also hearing the evidence.

They found the school had failed to put forward evidence of the alleged sexual activity and said it had not followed proper procedures by failing to take written statements from the pair.

The panel also concluded that the school had failed to treat both parties equally by expelling Trevor while the girl was only asked to leave.

They also noted that no action had been taken against the pupil who posted the original comments on Facebook.

Trevor, a keen musician, strongly denies that they did anything wrong.

He has always maintained that he had gone into a cubicle in a unisex lavatory area in the sixth form house to comfort her because she was crying.

He said last night: "I just want to get back to school and resume my studies."

Mrs Evans said: "This was a vindictive campaign hatched by some girls at the school who posted malicious rumours about him on Facebook."

She added: "The way the school dealt with this was a knee-jerk reaction and the right to education should be supported, not taken away."

The head teacher Glenice Robinson said:”It would not be appropriate to discuss specific details but the school always acts in the best interests of pupils."

The girl was unavailable for comment last night.

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