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LN – They sue the city government for discrimination in private schools


Benjamin has Prader Willi syndrome and was rejected in 27 privately run schools in the city of Buenos Aires. Credit: Courtesy

Natacha (47 years old) toured more than 30 private schools in the City in search of a common school for his son Iñaki (9 years old), who has autism. “It was to travel the path of hell,” he confesses. The excuses were repeated again and again: “This is not the right school for your child's profile”; “we already have the vacancies of integration covered”; “We do not have the right staff” or simply “there is no place”. Ariadna (39 years old), Benjamin's mother (9 years old) who has Prader Willi syndrome, lived the same despair and received identical justifications when her son was rejected in 27 privately run schools in the city of Buenos Aires. “I received the most absurd answers,” he recalls sadly. Gabriela (32 years old) tried her luck in 80 Buenos Aires schools and five in the province, with the same result: “We have already won the time. There are no schools that receive our son Maxi,” resigned account.

To the discrimination and rejection suffered by these families, there was the lack of protection and lack of support from state agencies, which had the obligation to ensure the right of their children to educate in common schools, as established National and international laws.

According to Natacha's account, when he noticed that no private school was willing to accept Iñaki due to his condition, he decided to go to the Directorate of Private Management Education (Diegep) to ask for help. “It was there that I understood why schools act so unpunished,” he explains. “For the Diegep it was a normal and acceptable situation. They even let me know that it was not really good to send a disabled boy to a common school. When I asked them for information on schools for Iñaki, they only gave me information about special schools. The authorities they are not clear about what inclusive education is, “he says.

Iñaki's mother tells of the hard experience they had as a family

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“These situations multiply throughout the country and it is because discriminating against children with disabilities in entering common education today has no cost,” explains Gabriela Santuccione, lawyer and coordinator of the
Article 24 Group, a coalition of more than 170 non-profit organizations from all over the country fighting for inclusive education.

This reality motivated the
Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ) to file an amparo against the Ministry of Education of the City of Buenos Aires, requesting that “the necessary measures be taken to avoid the rejection of registration due to disability in common management schools private. ” The demand was made together with the Legal Clinic of Public Interest and Human Rights of the Center for Human Rights (CDH) of the Law School of the University of Buenos Aires.


Iñaki's parents toured more than 30 private schools in search of a vacancy for their son with Autism Spectrum Condition (CEA)
Iñaki's parents toured more than 30 private schools in search of a vacancy for their son with Autism Spectrum Condition (CEA) Credit: Courtesy

“Although the Ministry of Education of Buenos Aires has among its functions the control, supervision and sanction of schools, it does not take the necessary measures to ensure the access of students with disabilities to common private schools,” ACIJ explains in its statement. And he adds: “In this way, the City government tolerates and aggravates the systematic violations of the right to inclusive education.”

Ariadna confesses how the dramatic search for a school for her disabled child was.

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Asked about this issue, the Ministry of Education of the City explains: “In the case of privately managed schools if the vacancy was not granted, the cause must be expressed and that it cannot contradict the rights recognized by the Constitution National, that of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and international instruments with constitutional hierarchy. ” And they add that, “although the Ministry of Education has no intervention in the processes of enrollment of private schools, there are institutional mechanisms to channel or make complaints so that the Ministry intervenes within the framework of its competence, always preserving the best interests of the student “.

However, Celeste Fernández, coordinator of the area of ​​Disability and Human Rights of ACIJ, states that “there are currently no effective, fast and independent mechanisms through which people with disabilities and their families can report enrollment rejections based on Disability In addition, the City government does not impose sanctions on common privately run schools that do so discretionally. “

“Justice has the opportunity, but also the duty, to reverse this situation by forcing the Buenos Aires authorities to exercise their control function and to design and implement appropriate public policies so that students with disabilities can access the common school on equal terms , the first condition for the effective exercise of their right to inclusive education, “concludes the disability specialist.

“If we do not include children with disabilities in common education schools, children who do not have that condition do not know the differences and when they leave school they become intolerant,” reflects Natacha, Iñaki's mother and witness in the case.

Learn about the main points contained in the lawsuit of ACIJ and the Legal Clinic of Public Interest and Human Rights of the Law School of the University of Buenos Aires against the City government.

  • The illegality of denying school enrollment to girls, boys and adolescents is declared because of their disability, a practice carried out by the private schools of private management, as well as their obligation to allow the entry of all students with disability upon request.
  • It is declared that it is illegal that the Government of the City of Buenos Aires does not control the actions of the private schools of private management and does not sanction them when they deny the enrollment due to disability.
  • The Government of the City of Buenos Aires is condemned to adopt all the necessary measures so that the common schools of private management located in CABA do not reject school enrollment based on disability (a formalized registration system that avoids discrimination, actions of dissemination aimed at informing families about the right of children with disabilities to attend regular schools, an accessible complaint procedure that provides limited deadlines for resolving these cases and penalties for schools that incur this practice, among others).

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(tagsToTranslate) They sue the city government for discrimination in private schools – LA NACION

Publicado en el diario La Nación