Special needs teen, dad sue private school over negligence

KUALA LUMPUR – A 14-year-old Syrian special needs teenager and his father have filed a civil suit against an international private school in Mont Kiara here for negligence over his alleged mistreatment at the hands of one of the students at the school.

The boy, who was diagnosed with Cohen Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), gastrointestinal issues and asthma, and his 60-year-old father filed the writ of summons against the school operator at the Sessions Court here, last year.

According to the statement of claim, the duo claimed that the special needs school committed negligence during the boy’s enrolment there from Oct 3 to Nov 7, 2021, whereby they claimed that during the first week of enrolment, the boy was excited to attend the school and his behaviour was positive at home, with the teen’s classes only having around two or three children.

The plaintiffs claimed that it was around 10 days into enrolment that the teen’s behaviour deteriorated via previously undisplayed actions such as an increase in the frequency of skin-peeling on his fingers and feet-bottom, school not feeding him adequately, coming home with dirty feet, and unusually difficult and stubborn behaviour.

They claimed that the boy also began shrieking and shouting in imitation of other children at the school, with the teen’s classes allegedly showing an increased student count to six or seven children.

The plaintiffs also alleged that the teen was hit by a classmate around 1.40 pm on Nov 8, 2021, but the school representative claimed that the boy had suffered self-inflicted bruises, purportedly hit another classmate and knocked his head on the classroom wall.

The father also alleged that the representative described the teen in an insulting and degrading manner, akin to an “animal”.

Following that, the school officially withdrew the boy from the school and a police report was made against the school at Sentul district police headquarters on Nov 16, 2021.

The father and son are seeking general, special, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as a declaration that the special needs school has breached its duty of care.

The suit is set for full trial before Sessions Court Judge Halilah Suboh tomorrow. – BERNAMA / pic BLOOMBERG