The reactive action by Kelmscott Senior High School to passive student protest was in breach of S95 of the School Education Act 1999 and Reg 32 (6) of the School Education Regulations 2000, which prohibit the exclusion of a student from a school for an alleged breach of uniform code.
Support by the Department of Education for the school’s action is disappointing, given its central supervisory and regulatory role in such matters.
There are other ways to address such issues. The ends do not justify the means.
Parents affected by the school’s indifference may well be entitled to claim lost wages, expenses and amenity from the school under the law of misfeasance.
Despite the school’s impressive track record for academic excellence, the message to students from this experience is that passive, peaceful protest will be met with crushing power from those who possess it.
There is no room for negotiation or reason, those who seek to express individuality will be expunged, and that when they grow up to become a part of the adult community they will have learnt to comply or be punished.