An Unacceptable Parent-Teacher Conference


Last night, while trying to dodge the infinite Facebook post sharing homepage (seriously, the site’s become a joke) I came across a picture of a young smiling girl that held a pre-caption that caught my attention.

The post wasn’t a promotion, neither was it a Youtube clip making fun of the Islamists. This was a photograph of a “real” little girl being kicked out of her school for having down syndrome (or so I thought). I was infuriated. This is not okay, I thought to myself and was keen on making this issue public. I shared the post (that’s how pissed off I was) and encouraged others to do the same.

Part of the post description read  “Now this beautiful Ballerina is 8, scoring average IQ to surprise everyone mashallah, she is smart, funny and great at school, she is among the best kids academically in a normal international school, age appropriate.” So why were they kicking her out? because, and I quote: “…she looks different, she is smaller in size, and her speech is slower than other kids her age”.

Maryam Goes to Narmer American College, and they consider her bad for the “marketing” and they decided they do not need such children while they have waiting lists of normal children. I read the description over and over, surely this wasn’t happening. Why would any organization (especially) a school discriminate against any individual, if they were meeting up with school standards.

And even if they weren’t, I’m pretty sure they have kids that go to their school who don’t have top notch English skills or just couldn’t comprehend maths. Would they kick them out as well for not keeping up to “school standards.”? I highly doubt.

After sharing Maryam’s picture, we got in touch with the school. To my surprise they denied the story, stating that this story was fabricated and they had an agreement with the parents when they initially accepted Maryam that they could only enroll her until they “felt” that her presence in the school was not beneficial for “her.” Apparently, Maryam needs “tools and services” that NAC cannot provide.

According to the Ministry of Education, a school that caters for special needs must be licensed for this purpose. NAC also stated that they’ve done everything possible to support this little girl and are deeply upset by the aforementioned accusations. After reading the reply I am still not entirely convinced. Questions like, why did they accept her in the first place? start to arise.

And why have they decided to kick her out now? If they genuinely cared about Maryam’s “well-being” then I believe more effort could be done to keep her enrolled. But then again, some may debate that every organization has its reasons and motifs, and that at the end of the day they aren’t a special needs school and it’s their right to see what fits best for their school.

Regardless, I’m still infuriated.