Today Santiago’s director of education, Yoris Rojas, announced that Mayor Felipe Alessandri will meet with Education Minister Marcela Cubillos to review Arlén’s enrollment in Santiago’s Liceo 1. The news was delivered during a successful demonstration called by Arlén, OTD Chile and councilwomen Irací Hassler and Natalia Contreras.
At 9 a.m., students, partners, politicians and the media began to arrive that have followed and supported the request of Arlén and her family to study at the Liceo 1 for girls in Santiago. After yesterday the Municipal Education Directorate denied the possibility, because the access was not adapted to the institutional educational program, being “monogender”, denying the feminine identity of Arlén; together with the fact that there are no vacancies available, information that has been questioned by the establishment’s own students.
Arlén regretted the response given to her in the Municipality, although she is confident that it can be reversed. “They were denying me the right to education, as well as the right we have as a family to choose where to study,” she said. “I hope they can demonstrate not only at the national level, but also at the international, that Chile is an inclusive country.”
“There are at least the will,” said Paola Muga, Arlén’s mother. “I am very happy and grateful to see all this support. I’m glad to be able to represent so many parents. Here you have to respect their right to education, this puts on the spot the shortcomings that exist in our society and makes visible what we have to continue improving.”
Franco Fuica, in charge of legislation and public policies at OTD Chile, expressed his interest in resolving this issue soon. “We are waiting for the call to confirm Arlén’s enrollment in Liceo 1, we want her to go to school on Monday like any other girl. Hopefully, the Ministry’s intervention will make the Directorate understand that discriminating on the basis of identity is not free and that there are thousands of us who are waiting to comply with the regulations, because it is the right thing to do and the right thing to do.”
Traslation: Mariana Galvez y Lilly Parra.