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School Expulsion Violated Teen’s Rights

The Parliamentary Ombudsman has ruled that the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture did not act in accordance with the law when it affirmed a high school’s decision to expel a 16-year-old boy in 2016, RÚV reports. The boy’s expulsion was based on the discovery that he’d been carrying a knife to school and had also published compromising photographs of one of his female classmates in a private Facebook group.

After the expulsion, the boy’s parents went to the Ombudsman, who ruled that the expulsion was a violation of the boy’s rights since he was a minor when the offenses occurred, and his expulsion would prevent him from being admitted to school elsewhere. Icelandic law, however, dictates that children have the right to attend school until the age of 18. Thus the Ombudsman found that the Ministry of Education had acted in error when it stood by the school’s decision to expel.

The Ombudsman has petitioned the Ministry to find a way to rectify the ruling in accordance with the boy’s rights and also to take steps to ensure that children who have not yet reached legal age at the time of their expulsion be re-enrolled in school elsewhere.

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