MIS High School scheduled to resume today with Headmaster on bail

3

By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT

MIS Closed for Two Days

Marina International High School was closed down after a student was suspended last week for underage driving. Orderly’s attached to the courts entered the school, sparking chaos as students protested. By the end of Friday last week the headmaster, British – Ghanaian, Mr. William Arthur was taken to court and charged with contempt of court.

Over the weekend a letter from the school seen below highlighted that “the board of Governors of Marina International School have taken the decision at an emergency Board meeting on March 2nd 2019 to close the school on Monday 4th March and Tuesday 5th March 2019.”

The letter did not state the reason for the school’s shutdown however, it stated that “this is to give the school time to plan and put logistical and operational measures in place to ensure the safety and security of students and staff. The school will resume on Wednesday 6th March 2019.”

MIS Headmaster on Bail

Speaking to Gainako Online Newspaper today, the Headmaster said that “I don’t understand how this works but I was collected and sent to the court for contempt of court and then the lawyers discussed bail. So I assume that if I am on bail then I was charged with contempt of court.”

“On Friday when I arrived at school there was a gentleman, he had a judiciary badge and he identified himself as a bailiff there to enforce a court order and I said I would not allow the child into the classroom. They came back and brought the same order but this time it had a cover letter from the sheriff and I refused to allow the child into the classroom.”

“The third time he came with three or four orderly’s attached to judge at the court. They came and said they been asked that I come over to the court. They had an order which now had my name to it to appear before the judge. I said I had to wait until I speak to my lawyer and I also had to close the school down because there was chaos. I had to make sure that the school was safe and then call their parents to come and pick them up and then I will go with them.”

Suspension upgraded to Expulsion

“The student was a 13-year-old child who was positively identified by a teacher and a security guard. They saw a car doing stunts in front of the school where there were several hundreds of students lined up because it was our annual cross country event. And the student was performing stunts with the car spinning the car in an angle of 360.”

“So the head of security approached the car and asked them to stop and then he positively identified the child whom he had known since the child was in nursery school by the way. So the matter was reported to me. Obviously because of the gravity of the issue and the potential loss to life and endangering the lives of other children in consultation with my board chair and colleagues we decide in our professional judgment a permanent expulsion was the best consequence as well as the best deterrent for any more further action.”

“So I suspended him. I tried to call the parent but didn’t reach him on the phone they didn’t pick up. So I sent an initial email saying that he was suspended for 14 days because it was a Friday evening to enable me to gather all the facts. I finally made the expulsion on Monday.”

Monday’s PTA Meeting

Speaking about what may happen on Wednesday he explained that “my bail condition is to obey the injunction [shown above]and allow the boy to return to school until the matter is heard in court on the 18th. So I’m going to comply with that order but the teachers signed a petition on Friday evening. When the teachers held an emergency meeting and they said that if the boy is brought back into the school they would stop teaching. And yesterday at the PTA 337 parents signed a petition at the PTA that under no circumstances will they allow the child back into the school.”

Asked if the current decision means the student will not be allowed into school for now? He responded that “I have no choice but to comply with the court order but the teachers say they will stop teaching so if the teachers leave the classroom then of course health and safety supersedes everything and I’ll have to close the school down again.”

Threat to Life

“I really don’t know how things work here, but I’ve never seen anything like this before especially in a private school where we are a selective school and so we determine who we allow into the school. We have a code of conduct that we all abide by. Ignorance of the school rules is no excuse for you to do the things that you’re not supposed to do and we have to apply the full force of the law.”

“People don’t understand that the law of common sense especially when there’s a threat to life and the minors in our care we identify in our professional judgment that their lives are in danger that common sense supersedes all sentiments and everything else.”

“In all of this, the fact that the 13-year-old was operating a motor vehicle which is considered a weapon actually, that fact has not surfaced at all anywhere. I don’t know whether deliberately people have decided to be oblivious of that fact. Which is quite interesting. I don’t know whether it’s a sign to me that it’s incredibly normal so that doesn’t actually standout.”

System Breakdown

Speaking to the Headmaster who’s admittedly new to The Gambian system, Gainako’s Flex Dan explained that “it’s a system breakdown we have in The Gambia where the elite feel that they are in cajole with the system, the authorities they have the legal entities who they are close to and they can go and seek injunctions without bringing the school to attention to be able to attend that case and defend themselves in court.”

“Instead of the security apparatus arresting the parents for allowing underage driving they have turned around and decided to execute the court order for the injunction. It’s a system breakdown which we have in The Gambia.”

Share.

About Author

3 Comments

  1. KEBBA SILLAH on

    @flex dan(yusuf taylor)
    I have been reading your article regarding my cousin on the marina school incident.From my observation it seems as if you are only interested in the headmaster’s version of events NOT bothering to cross check with the child’s mother.Nothing to fuss about that as i’ve come across your type when reading articles.
    i’ not going dwell too much into this issue but it would be of the public(readers)interest to share the other version of events.

    In your closing remarks you quoted:
    System Breakdown

    Speaking to the Headmaster who’s admittedly new to The Gambian system, Gainako’s Flex Dan explained that “it’s a system breakdown we have in The Gambia where the elite feel that they are in cajole with the system, the authorities they have the legal entities who they are close to and they can go and seek injunctions without bringing the school to attention to be able to attend that case and defend themselves in court.”

    “Instead of the security apparatus arresting the parents for allowing underage driving they have turned around and decided to execute the court order for the injunction. It’s a system breakdown which we have in The Gambia.”

    REALLY:….THIS ALONE SHOWS YOUR BIAS REPORTING and if you need further assistance in getting the other version of events,please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Oh by the way are you in someway related to the headmaster or share anything in common?/

    • Dear Musu Kebba,

      I hope this email finds you well. I’m writing to give you an opportunity to present the other side of the story.

      Please feel free to contact me on XXXXXX to arrange how we can make this work.

      I’ll like us both to remain cordial during our discussions and avoid labelling each other as bias without bringing forward any evidence as that will derail the point of our discussion.

      Kind regards,
      Yusef Taylor

  2. @ yusuf Taylor

    By the way my name is kebba NOT musukebba and secondly I was expecting your reply on your page so that readers will capture the events as they unfold.
    Ofcourse I will keep it cordial but you warrant me labelling you bias as you have made judgement already by branding the system the way you did.

    Nonetheless I will get in touch as soon as I get the green light.

    Regards

    Kebba sillah

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.