12-Year-Old Girl With Leukemia Dismissed From Michigan School For Excessive Absences

Rose McGrath has already faced and beaten the biggest battle of her life, against leukemia, but now she will have to start fighting the school she attends because they had the nerve to kick this brave girl out for excessive absences.


McGrath was diagnosed in 2012 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August 2012 and has been undergoing treatment for nearly three years. Her treatments are completed, but she is still trying to recover, according to her mother, Barbara McGrath:

“You still have a very long recovery process because you’ve basically just put two and a half years of poison into your body, (so) you’re not recovering overnight.”

But then a letter arrived from the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools informing this incredible young lady that she dismissed from school because she failed to meet academic or attendance standards.

She just got over treatments for leukemia! Can’t the school cut her some slack?

Rose’s parents admit that their daughter has only been able to attend  only 32 days of class this year, but she remains on track to pass all of her core classes.

Rose, tears in her eyes, told a local reporter:

“I didn’t do anything wrong, but they still got rid of me.”

Father John Fleckenstein of the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools claims that the school tried to provide support for McGrath:

“These were extraordinary circumstances, but so many accommodations were made we felt eventually it became a point where we really had to help Rose by being able to make sure that she was getting the assistance that she needed and to learn.”

Then why not let her continue for the year and see if she passes her classes with the required grades, Father?

The young girl’s parents are not going without a fight and have filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights because they don’t think the school’s accommodations were adequate for a child who has been as ill as Rose.             As Mrs. McGrath remarked:

“It’s not like she’s out at the mall having fun — she’s in her bed, sick with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain. She’s not having fun, she’s sick. She’d be at school if she could.”

And if they wanted, the school could make a special exception for this resilient girl who simply wants to go to school like every other kid.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.


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