Regional

Headmistress of Rising Sun School sued for GHC1M in defamation case

The headmistress and entire management of Rising Sun Montessori School, Dome in Accra have been served a writ summoning them to court for defamation with damages being sought.

The suit served on the 3rd of August, 2021 stems from a build-up of pockets of isolated incidents which has escalated to its current state.

The headmistress amongst other things has not had a pleasant relation with the suing family; particularly the mother and her children. Information gathered indicates that the animosity has gone on for close to thirty-six months.

It is gathered that the school authorities made a directive that restricted parents from entering the classrooms of their wards. Consequently, the mother of the suing family raised concerns about the general sanitation at the school at a Parent-Teacher meeting.

This precipitated an allegation by the headmistress during a regular morning assembly that the children of the suing family had spread mumps, a salivary gland infection caused by virus in the school. Unfortunately, this accusation was factually ungrounded.

Mrs Otieku

She later admitted that the allegation of spreading the mumps infection was borne out of anger after their mother had vehemently addressed the issue of sanitation in the school. Sometime in July, 2021, one of the three children of the suing family who all attend the same school was faced with an incident. He and one of his classmates had exchanged some unprintable words in a diary belonging to the latter. This correspondence was found by the mother of the other child who reported the matter to their class teacher.

The two pupils were called and warned by their class teacher. The matter eventually reached the headmistress, Mrs. Victoria Maku Otieku who according to her called both pupils to find out what transpired.

The headmistress interrogated the pupils without their parents present but in the presence of their class teacher and an administrator. Considering the reverence pupils have for their teachers, it will be very difficult for them to be relaxed and answer without any nervousness.

Only one of the pupils was handed over a stringent punishment and a threat of being hauled to a juvenile court. This undoubtedly traumatised the lad to the extent that he didn’t want to go to school the next day. He eventually did after the intervening counseling of his father. The headmistress had done a private inquisition and had passed judgment without any recourse to the parents.

The court hearing began on the 18th August, 2021 and has been adjourned to 11th October, 202. An update will be given as the matter unfolds.

Rising Sun Montessori School is a private limited liability company established in 2007 with the vision of building a chain of schools in Ghana. In the last five years the school has grown from one campus to three in Ghana. In the last ten years the school has grown to become one of the top tier private schools in Ghana offering the local educational curriculum.

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