Just when 12-year-old Rose McGrath thought the worst was behind her, with doctors telling her last year that she was recovering from cancer after a two-and-a-half year battle, her school announced that she was being dismissed.
The decision came in a letter sent to the family home in Battle Creek, Michigan. It means Rose will no longer be able to attend St. Joseph Middle School of Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools. Rose has attended schools in the area her whole life.
In the letter, the school said its decision was based on her poor attendance and failure to achieve academic standards. Rose has attended 32 full days during this school year, and her parents say she was on course to pass her core classes.
"I didn’t do anything wrong, but they still got rid of me," Rose told CBS affiliate WWMT.
Rose was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2012.
"When I'm at home, I'm sick, I don't feel well; no one else does that," Rose said. "But when I'm at school, I'm like everyone else."
Rose isn’t the only one who is angry. Both of her parents expressed their frustration with the school’s decision, saying that they felt let down.
"Even though she's now done with her treatment, you still have a very long recovery process because you've basically just put two-and-a-half years of poison into your body," Rose's mother, Barbara McGrath, said. "You're not recovering overnight."
Tom McGrath, Rose’s father, was equally unimpressed with the efforts of the school to make allowances for her circumstances.
"The accommodations which were made were woefully inadequate for a child with such a serious diagnosis,” he said.
But the school maintained that everything had been done to work around Rose’s medical condition and it was left with no other choice.
"These were extraordinary circumstances, but so many accommodations were made we felt eventually it became a point where we really had to help Rose, by being able to make sure that she was getting the assistance that she needed and to learn," said Father John Fleckenstein of Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools.
This did little to convince Rose’s parents, who announced they are filing a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.
"It's not like she's out at the mall having fun,” Barbara said. "She's in her bed, sick with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain. She's not having fun; she's sick. She'd be at school if she could."