Saudi Gazette – The Red Sea International School, which was permanently shut down by the Ministry of Education (MOE) following the death of a student inside a school bus, on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the decision.

Abdullah Al-Silmy, the school’s legal representative, said the ministry had issued the decision to shut down the school permanently based on investigations into the death of Abdulmalik Marwan Awadh in October.

Awadh suffocated to death after he was inadvertently locked inside the school bus for the entire school day, which lasted for six hours.

“The ministry’s decision was too prompt. It is hard to cease the operation of a school in the middle of a semester. Many parents have already paid their fees and the final exams are nearing. It is incredibly unfair to put the students through this predicament,” said Al-Silmy.

He said a representative from the school had previously tried to meet the minister in order to persuade him to retract the decision or issue a more reasonable one.

“We have tried contacting the minister but we were met with rejection. That is why we filed a lawsuit at the administrative court demanding a viable decision. In our lawsuit, we presented the problems the school administration would have to go through due to the decision and inconveniences faced by the parents,” said Al-Silmy.

He said there would be a court hearing on Thursday in the presence of a legal representative from the ministry.

“The school had to dismiss many teachers on short notice, which is beyond the school’s ability. The parents are facing difficulty in transferring the students to other schools, which will compromise their education,” said Al-Silmy.

Legal consultant Ibrahim Al-Abadi said the decision the ministry has taken was unfair.

“The ministry did not follow the legal procedures before enforcing the decision. The ministry did not involve the school administration in the investigation into the child’s death. It did not inform the school with the updates of its investigation and the direction it was taking,” said Al-Abadi.

He also said the school administration has the right to respond to the decision and has the right to appeal.

“The school administration was forced to file a lawsuit because all the legal steps were not followed while issuing the decision. Legal actions should be well studied and calculated. The ministry committed a mistake by harming the interests of several individuals who are not responsible for the incident in the school,” said Al-Abadi.

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