Catholic school cancer


The Washington Times reports…

Rose McGrath, a 12-year-old cancer survivor who made national headlines this month after she was expelled for missing too many classes, has been invited back to her Michigan Catholic school.

Rose and her family, of Battle Creek, recently received a letter in the mail that dismissed the seventh-grader from St. Joseph Middle School, citing concerns regarding her attendance and academic performance, a local CBS affiliate first reported. Rose has attended Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools all her life, but has struggled to attend school after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012, the station reported. She said she only attended 32 full days this year.

“I didn’t do anything wrong, but they still got rid of me,” she told the station last week.

But Rev. John Fleckenstein, pastor administrator, released a statement on Friday announcing that after “much consideration and prayer,” and in consultation with St. Joseph Principal Marcy Arnson, “we have decided to invite seventh-grader Rose McGrath to return to our school as soon as possible.”

In an earlier statement, Mr. Fleckenstein said the school had tried to work with Rose and made “so many accommodations” to reduce her workload, but it just got to a point where they felt she wasn’t getting the help she needed.

Rose’s father, Tom McGrath, said the accommodations that were made were “woefully inadequate for a child with such a serious diagnosis,” the CBS affiliate reported.

In his statement Friday, Mr. Fleckenstein explained further: “We remain convinced that the accommodations provided over the past months were extensive, appropriate, and compassionate.

“It is unfortunate that the coverage of this issue has been greatly distorted both in the media and on social networks. We hope and pray that moving forward we can do so with mutual respect while providing continued privacy for our student,” he said in his statement. “As we did before, we will continue to work closely with the McGrath family and invite them to take advantage of the accommodations throughout the remainder of the school year. Our focus has been, and remains on the well-being and academic success of Rose.”

Barbara McGrath, Rose’s mother, told The Associated Press that her daughter is attending a public school for now. She said they have filed a complaint with the federal Office of Civil Rights and asked the private district to adopt an accommodation plan for ill students similar to those required in public schools.”


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