If you haven’t known already, today (well, at least in my timezone), 1 December 2011 is the World AIDS Day. This day is meant for raising awareness of AIDS, supporting those who are HIV positive, fighting against the prejudice of AIDS, educating people about AIDS, as well as how people can get AIDS and how people WILL NOT get AIDS.
In the middle of the supportive spirit of this day, I found out a sad, very unfair news emerging from my Twitter timeline. To make things even worse, the news is from my beloved country, Indonesia.
So here’s the thing. The child of a man, who is HIV positive, got accepted into Don Bosco elementary school at Kelapa Gading. But then, today, this man, Fajar Jasmin, got a text message from a representative of that school. Below is the screencap of that message, which he also tweeted before.
The text message basically told Mr. Jasmin and his wife, Leonnie Flora Merinsca, that “with a heavy heart, we have cancelled our decision on accepting Imi (the child’s name) as a student of Don Bosco elementary school“. The school’s representative stated that the cause of this incident is that “some of the parents of other students object the presence of Imi“.
If this is not a discrimination, I don’t know what it is. Oh wait, may be it is a very naked discrimination. The most important thing is that Imi got accepted at first! Then, just because the father’s HIV positive, Imi got denied the deserved enrollment. I think that Mr. Jasmin would feel less agitated if the discrimination was against him, but this is against his child! C’mon, what parents would stand idle if their children got discriminated? And the child is not even at fault here!
What I found most disgracing about the school (and maybe also the school foundation) is that they hide and cower behind the back of “other student’ parents“. That’s just plain low. For Jesus Christ’s sake, they just denied themselves the right to give proper education, leave alone as school. IMHO, as school they should have fight the prejudice and discrimination, not promoting it like this.
One of my friend said that “one of the solution is to meet with other parents and explain about AIDS, etc and convince them that the child won’t be a harm to the community”. It may be one of the solution, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s only escalating the level of discrimination. For me the best solution is THE SCHOOL. The school should have the courage to break this wall of false paradigm and assumptions about AIDS! Break the wall of discrimination! At least for me, that what’s being a school means! If they don’t have enough courage to do it, don’t even bother teaching the students about moral conducts, they’ve failed at giving example, thus would make them hypocrites.
Mr. Jasmin seemed to plan to take legal actions for this incident and by God, I’m with him. I can’t do much, I know. I can only help spreading the words. And if any of you want to help Mr. Jasmin for this case, you can contact him (@fajarjasmin) or his wife (@LeonnieFM) at Twitter. May the discrimination falters and the glory of embracing others reigns!
ps: Dear Sir, that’s one cool name your child got. Props to you and your wife.