Two black pupils who claimed they were permanently excluded from their school owing to racism had their case thrown out by Appeal Court judges
This is Hertfordshire:
Rinehart Appiah and Frank Wabwire, both now 22, were excluded from the Bishop Douglass Roman Catholic High School, in Hamilton Road, in February 2002, after a fight broke out in the sixth-form common room.
Mr Appiah, of Westbere Road, West Hampstead, and Mr Wabwire, of Tythe Road, Luton, claimed their exclusions were the result of at least unconscious' racial discrimination, something rejected by Judge Crawford Lindsay QC in the Central London County Court last year, prompting them to appeal.
advertisementBut Lord Justice Mummery, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Lord Justice Maurice Kays in the Appeal Court, described their racial discrimination claims as unsustainable' and upheld Judge Lindsay's ruling.
He said while the school had been culpable in some respects - for example, in devising an apparently unlawful form of exclusion, in selling the parents short when concerns were being expressed and in the long delay in holding governors meetings', that did not mean the former pupils were victims of racial discrimination. The pair, who were legally aided, were refused permission to appeal further to the House of Lords.
Their counsel, Nigel Giffin QC, had explained that the proportion of black pupils excluded from the school was far higher than that of white students, and insisted that the boys had been in effect expelled' in the midst of crucial GNVQ course work in consequence of being black'.
But the school insisted its decision was not racially influenced and said the pair were the aggressors' in the fight and had inflicted serious violence' on the two white victims'. Mr Edward Faulks QC, for the school's governors, added that the witnesses who testified against the pair were both white and black' and that, when compared to schools nationally, there was nothing unusual' about the school's record of excluding black pupils.
Former pupils sue school for ‘racism’
Black Caribbean children are more than three times more likely to be excluded from schools in Ealing, London than white children