Khalifa’s mom fears backlash at St Charles
BY COREY CONNELLY
Roman Catholic Archbishop Edward Gilbert has ruled that dreadlocked schoolgirl Kalifa Logan should be allowed to attend St Charles High School in Tunapuna.
However, the girl’s family said they had no intention of sending her to the institution while Sr Adrianna Noel is principal.
Logan, 12, was refused admittance at the Catholic-run, government-assisted school because of her dreadlocks.
She was assigned to the school after the SEA results were released.
After a public outcry over the action, Archbishop Gilbert finally stepped in yesterday and gave his ruling, apologising and welcoming Logan back.
But Lynette Marshall, Kalifa’s mother, said yesterday that the girl had no intention of attending St Charles.
“My daughter say she doh even want to reach near the gate of that school,” Marshall said in an interview at her La Horquetta home.
“Remember, the nun was the person who say she cannot come to the school in the first place. I feel that my daughter will continue to be victimised.”
She said Noel should resign.
“That is the only way I might consider it (sending Kalifa to St Charles).”
Despite a newspaper report, which quoted Arouca South MP Camille Robinson-Regis as saying that plans were being put in place to have Kalifa enrolled at El Dorado Secondary, Marshall said she had not received formal word on the issue.
“Nobody has said anything to me. The MP say I would hear something before the end of the week. I want to see something in black and white from the ministry.”
Marshall said the Jamaat al Muslimeen had come to her daughter’s rescue by offering her a place at the Islamic College on Mucurapo Road, St James.
“The iman said the doors of his school are wide open for my daughter to get an education,” she said.
The woman said the family would not be taking up the offer.
“Kalifa’s father, Reynold, say that the distance is too far and that she will have to get up too early in the morning,” she said.
Contacted yesterday, Jamaat leader Yasin Abu Bakr said Kalifa was expected to begin school on Monday.
“Yes, she is due to come to the school here,” Bakr said in a brief telephone interview.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), she came to register and as far as I know, the mother is making arrangements to get her school uniform.”
Bakr said the principal’s initial decision to debar the young girl from St Charles reflected the discrimination taking place in the society.
“It stinks, as usual, as everything else in the country,” he said.
Marshall said if her daughter was not enrolled in a “five-year school” by Monday, the family would seek legal action.
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