A private school in the southeastern province of Mardin has expelled two twelve-year-old students for acting "immorally," Mesopotamia Agency reported on Sept. 19.
The children were caught passing a note discussing a woman who had allegedly given birth 97 times. The correspondence between the two students was confiscated by one of their teachers, photographed, and reported to the administration of Kızıltepe Sınav Koleji.
The two students were then called to the administration’s office and questioned about the note without the presence of a teacher or child psychologist. According to the father of one of the boys, Mehmet Karaaslan, who is a psychologist, the school did not follow psycho-social support and crisis intervention guidelines, which aim to prevent psychological damage to children. Instead, the children were directly questioned, reprimanded, and dismissed.
Karaaslan and his fellow parents were called to the administration office, where they were informed they would have to transfer their children to a different school because they “behaved against the general moral principles of the school.” Further, the school principal, Abidin Aslan, said that the behavior could spur a reaction from other parents at the school.
“How can I ignore the moral values of the school? If I don’t expel these children, other families will react,” Aslan said.
When Karaaslan asked what constituted the school’s moral principles, he said Aslan threatened him, telling him he would “make him pay” for this. Karaaslan argued, based on his expertise, that this was normal behavior for young people.
“Children in this age group are curious,” Karaaslan said, “These children need to take sexual education classes. They need to be informed, to be enlightened. They shouldn’t be suppressed.”
Despite Karaaslan and his fellow parents’ disagreement with the school’s decision, they decided after the school’s obstinance and Principal Aslan’s threats to transfer their children to a different school. The two children are now both enrolled elsewhere.
When the agency's reporters contacted the school about the incident, the administration asked that they not report it.