Autistic son left out, parents claim

AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy was excluded from a school trip for being autistic, his parents claimed. They were flabbergasted when they learnt from their son’s school in Tarragona that Sergi could go on a two-day excursion with the rest of his class, said parents Montse and Francesc.

After the Joan Rebull School and the education authorities both failed to explain the decision convincingly, the couple lodged a formal complaint.

The school had been forced to take this step “as a safety issue and to minimise risks,” said Maria dels Angels Gonzalez of the region’s Education department.

But Sergi was fully able to participate in the two-day outing, insisted Montse.  She also cited a recent note from the organisers of the school dining room, praising him for fitting in.

On learning of the school’s refusal to allow Sergi on the trip, Montse even offered to accompany her son, she said, although the offer was turned down.

“I wondered if it had anything to do with the regional government’s cost-cutting programme.  But I don’t think so because they still wouldn’t let him go, even if I took him,” she added.

Insisting that she would not let her son feel left out, Montse claimed the law was on their side.

She and Francesc went to the “Papas de Alex” support group for disabled children who reported the school for discrimination and infringing Sergi’s rights.

Schools were obliged to organise activities in a way that recognised the right of children and minors to be considered, and treated as, full citizens, said the collective.

It had now reported the case to the minors’ prosecution department and had asked the education authorities to investigate the school, said the group’s president, Antonio Moreno.


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