Maria cannot go to school

Maria cannot go to school!

Bucharest, September 22th, 2014. The European Center for the Rights of Children with Disabilities (ECRCD) has notified today, September 22th, The School Inspectorate of Arges County regarding the refusal of the teaching staff from Carol I high school in Curtea de Arges, to accept Maria in first grade.

Maria is 9 years old and she has a Down syndrome. Having only a mild linguistic disorder, Maria has been oriented towards a mass school, through a decision emitted by CJRAE Arges, respectively High School Carol I in Curtea de Arges.

On Monday, September 15, 2014, the girl accompanied by her mother were present at the opening of the school year, from where they were sent back home by the teacher. The principal of the school, as well as the teacher, communicated to the mother that the girl has nothing to do in this school, simply because she has a down syndrome and that she is a threat to the other children. At the same time, Maria’s mother has been pressured to enroll her daughter to special school, because according to the school representatives: ‘’She won’t behave, we don’t want problems… we don’t want tomorrow or the day after tomorrow for her to get naked in front of the other kids or who knows what else she will do!’’

Now Maria is not going to school.

We specify that Down syndrome represents a form of intellectual disability, characteristic with slower cognitive development of the child, generated by the existence of an additional chromosome on the pair level 21 in the DNA.

At the same time, we emphasize the fact that in the situation in which the school administration and ISJ Arges will not take the necessary steps in order to respect the right to education of a child with disabilities, The European Center for the Rights of Children with Disabilities will take the legal measures to denounce and sanction the act of discrimination, in accordance to the legal norms in force.

‘’It is inadmissible after so many precedents in court and in front of the National Council for Combatting Discrimination on the violation of the right to education of the children with disabilities, the discrimination has still alarming quotas in the schools of Romania. We want to warn the representatives of the educational units that the violation of the right to education and the discrimination represent two extremely severe acts, prescribed and punishable by the legislation in force. The children with disabilities have the right to education, the right to study in school alongside with other children’’, declares Mădălina Turza, president of CEDCD.

Background information:

According to the official statistical data, the number of the registered children with disabilities in Romania is 70.647. According to the same data, 31.132 of them are unschooled and the rest of them are following educational programs of special schools, mass-schools or other forms of education.

On December 18, 2014, in the thematic research of the UN about the right to education of persons with disabilities, the Romanian government shows that we have 1310,5 teachers of support for a number of 23.000 of schooled children with disabilities, it means 1 teacher of support to 17 children, who is present two times per week for two hours.


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