The halls of College International Marie de France were filled once again this week with hundreds of students returning from their summer break, but one familiar face was not among them.
Aurelia Lubrina, who has Down syndrome, has been a student at the Montreal private school for the last eight years. During that time, her family says the shy 15-year-old has made enormous progress -interacting with a diverse cross-section of students and teachers and attending many of the same classes as her peers.
Last fall, however, the school’s principal asked the Lubrina family to sign an agreement stating the 2009-10 academic year would be Aurelia’s last at the school. The administration said the institution -which receives funding from both the Quebec and French governments -could no longer provide a safe and appropriate environment in which Aurelia could learn. Of particular concern, the school said, was the disabled teen’s safety and the increasing intellectual gap between her and her cohorts. Under the terms of the agreement, which her parents eventually signed, Aurelia would not be permitted to re-enrol for 2010-11. Now, the family alleges it agreed to those terms under duress.
Read more here: Teen with Down syndrome faces school battle.