Expelled from School: The Case of Sina Haghighi

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Editor’s Note: Sina Haghighi was a third year student in Kashan’s secondary school – the equivalent of the ninth grade in the West.

The principle of the school summoned Sina on Tuesday, 2 December 2008, prior to the final exams of the first semester, and informed him that the Board of Education had contacted the school and informed them that Sina was no longer permitted to attend classes or participate in the forthcoming end-of-semester exams. When Sina inquired about the reason for this decision, the principle stated that he was unaware of the details and added, “You must ask the Information Office of the Board of Education.”

When Sina and his elders referred to the aforesaid Information Office, the person in charge stated, “Religious proselytizing is forbidden. He has engaged in proselytizing.”

When asked, “Who has he taught?” the Office responded, “He has given out pamphlets and CDs.”

And when the Baha’is said, “What do events outside of school have to do with what is taking place inside the school?” the response was, “Since it impacts students and their religious convictions, then this is a matter for the Ministry of Education.”

Sina and his companions stated, “Other students asked him questions and he merely responded. You print slanders and lies about us and we responded to dispel such misinformation. You should have summoned Sina and said to him, ‘If you teach your Faith, you will be expelled from school’, and not merely waited until you had an excuse to expel him.”

The Baha’is then asked, “What should we do now? Should we enroll him in another school, or should he take independent exams?” The response was, “No, he is barred from attending any school and may not further his education.”

And when they inquired, “Where can we appeal this matter?” they were told, “To the Board of Education in Isfahan, which has given us these instructions” (and thereby implied they had no responsibility for their action).

Of course it is clear that this decision was taken based on previous planning since in the course of their exchanges, the officials stated, “This action was taken according to the instructions of the Ministry of Intelligence.”

[The Persian original of this report can be downloaded here: PDF File]


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