If you have any heart at all, this story will make you wish you could give it to the school administrators of St. Joseph Middle School and the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools of Battle Creek, Michigan. They actually expelled a 12-year-old girl for missing too many classes while she was undergoing leukemia treatments.
Rose McGrath, 12, has been battling a difficult case of acute lymphoblastic leukemia since 2012. She had to undergo some difficult and painful treatments to treat her cancer and even though it caused her to miss some school days, she was still determined to attend as many classes as she could and finish her studies to the best of her abilities. Apparently, that wasn’t good enough for the administration because they pulled her from the school just before she was set to complete her required number of classes.
Father John Fleckenstein, a representative from the school district, actually had the nerve to tell a local reporter that they had to take action after making so many accommodations to help her with her schoolwork because of her medical condition. Rose’s father, Tom, called those accommodations “woefully inadequate.” Rose's mother, Barbara, said she still had to complete the same tests and projects as any other students in their classes.
The good news is that once the story hit the news wires and started angering parents all over the country, the school district reversed its decision and allowed Rose to stay in school but the parents chose to enroll her in another school in the district so she can complete her coursework. Another representative from the school said they would meet with the parents and Rose to discuss her academic future after “a cooling off period.” If we were Rose’s parents, that “cooling off period” will last for a pretty long time.
Come to think of it, the school district doesn’t need a heart. It sounds like they need a brain.