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Girl who battled cancer is dismissed for missing school

A 12-year-old Michigan girl who just made it through the biggest fight of her life has been dealt another blow.

In August 2012, Rose McGrath, of Battle Creek, was diagnosed with leukemia.

But last week, her family received a letter from her school that would turn her world upside down.

As CBS affiliate WWMT reports, the letter addressed concerns regarding Rose's attendance and academic performance, and stated that Rose had been dismissed from St. Joseph Middle School.

"I didn't do anything wrong, but they still got rid of me," Rose said.

Rose McGrath WWMT

Rose has been with the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools all her life, but attending school got difficult when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012.

"Even though she's now done with her treatment you still have a very long recovery process because you've basically just put two and a half years of poison into your body. You're not recovering overnight," said Rose's mother, Barbara McGrath.

The McGraths say despite all of the obstacles, Rose was on track to pass her core classes.

Now, just shy of the end of the school year, they say she's been pulled from the one place where she felt normal.

"When I'm at home, I'm sick, I don't feel well; no one else does that. But when I'm at school I'm like everyone else," Rose said.

According to the letter from St. Joseph Middle School, Rose was dismissed because she could not meet academic or attendance standards.

Rose attended 32 full days this year.

The letter says the school tried to work with Rose and reduced her workload.

"These were extraordinary circumstances, but so many accommodations were made we felt eventually it became a point where we really had to help Rose, by being able to make sure that she was getting the assistance that she needed and to learn," said Father John Fleckenstein, with Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools.

But the McGraths say the school has failed their child.

"The accommodations which were made were woefully inadequate for a child with such a serious diagnosis," said Rose's father Tom McGrath.

"It's not like she's out at the mall having fun, she's in her bed, sick with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain. She's not having fun, she's sick. She'd be at school if she could," Barbara said.

Father Fleckenstein says for privacy reasons, he could not talk about the situation in its entirety.

In the meantime, the McGraths say they have filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, and the family is waiting to hear if any action will be taken.

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