A brave teenager who is recovering from a face cancer operation has been left devastated after being banned from going to her school prom.
Alex Dallas, 16, claims that the school were discriminating against her and that they allegedly decided she was too ‘mentally unstable’ to attend, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Alex, from Runcorn, went through a 12-hour operation back in December last year to remove part of a tumour on her head, after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was a young child.
The Year 11 pupil, who attended Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, is now in the clear but has suffered with anxiety and depression since the surgery.
Since then she has been home schooled and attended a special training centre and understandably was finally looking forward to something all 16-year-olds do, the prom at the end of the school year.
But she was absolutely distraught after hearing that the school had set her conditions for her to go, without allegedly offering her a proper psychological assessment.
“I was upset I couldn’t go. It upset me to say I’m mentally unstable – I’m not. People shouldn’t discriminate for something they don’t understand. It’s not like I’m the only person with mental health issues,” she told the Liverpool Echo.
Her mum, Sam Mattison and grandmother, Lorraine Gotting, spent over £500 to give her the very best for her big day, including a customised dress, shoes and make-up session- but their plans were halted by the school’s decision.
My daughter’s been through hell and she wanted to finish school on a high with all her friends, most of whom she’s known since nursery.
She’s 4ft 5 and four stone, she’s not a threat. She wanted to be treated like every other child and she’s been denied her big night.
The school have really let her down, considering what she’s been through. She needed this, she’s just had her head sliced open in a massive operation.
She was desperate to have everything sorted by her prom date. The school’s motto is every child matters – why didn’t my child matter?
Alex had to stay at home and watched on in tears, as her classmates posted social media updates as they celebrated their end of year prom.
The school told the Liverpool Echo that they ‘reluctantly’ took the decision after an assessment of Alex was unable to be carried out- citing the fact she hadn’t attended school for six months.
We wanted to make sure attending the event was in the best interests of this student, and indeed her fellow students.
Because she had not been into school for six months, we asked her to come in for one hour a day over a two-week period before the prom, so we could make an assessment and so she could interact with other students.
Unfortunately she did not do so and so we reluctantly took the decision that it would not be right for her to attend the event.
Whether that’s the case or not, surely allowances should be made for a young person who’s already been through so much in her life.
As her mum Sam said: “To a lot of adults it’s a glorified disco but to 16 year olds it means the world.”
And that’s something they really should have considered when denying her the right to that.