De-boardinisation! Isn’t that punishment, reserved for the most disobedient, disrespectful, trouble-causing, simply, deviant students?  Punishment meted out after others have failed?  Is this not a decision resorted to only after a person has had several ‘visits’ to the disciplinary committee? Why would a straight A student be lumped up with this group?

This is how it plays out in most senior high schools in Ghana. Somehow, without doing anything wrong, I found myself being asked to leave the boarding house. All it took, the headmistress asking that I invite my parents to her office.

My offense you wonder? I happen to fall sick once too often. Like there was a stipulated number of times each student was allowed to fall sick. Sorry, I didn’t get the memo! Basically, all it took was, me being a person living with sickle cell disease, and like the students who did everything, from stealing to leaving school without permission, I got thrown out of the boarding house.

Apparently, there were too many students and the school was not willing to take ‘the burden of caring for a sick student.’ Notice that I am quoting. That would be my headmistress. She then proceeded to go through a list of students with ‘special needs.’ Turns out, I was just a nuisance she would rather not bother about. Suffice it to say, my mom was in tears at the end of that meeting.

She took her precious little nuisance out of their care. Oh I was incensed. Was ready to fight them but she would rather not,she was really hurting. I was still under 18. Could not have done it on my own, thus, we let it go, and I continued high school as a day student.

I believe determination and focus rather than the school you attend or the course you read,or the challenges you encounter along the way are what determine if you will make something of yourself or not.Image

Having said that, Sickle cell placed limitations on my choice of high school because my mom wanted me close to ensure that I was healthy, even though I could probably have gone anywhere with my grades. I find it  laughable then, that after settling, they found it within themselves to de-boardinise me. Oh well…

Having gone through all the challenges, missing school and exams. Sickness and hospitalization. After all that, I make it to senior high school, and what do you know? I am not even going to be given a fair playing-field  to make it to university? Seriously?

Give me a reason why they were right to de-boardinise me and I will give you 10, why their reasoning was flawed.

Medicine and science have progressed so much, it is even astonishing what we can achieve now. Yet, someone happens to have sickle cell disease and you treat them so unfairly. We might as well go back to being hunters and gatherers, live in caves. then we can justify our atrocious behavior!

Dedicated to the high school student currently fighting her de-boardinisation for having sickle cell disease. I did not fight  when it was done to me, and several others have suffered the same ordeal. Keep fighting. It starts with you, be the change you want to see in the world.


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