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Disabled boy wins apology, compensation

The problems began in 2002 when the boy, identified only as Yuval, was in the 5th grade in Ramat Aviv's Nitzanim school.

The Education Ministry, the city of Tel Aviv and a Ramat Aviv elementary school have all signed a letter of apology to a disabled boy and and will pay him NIS 50,000 in compensation after a five-year battle over a part-time aide for him at school, reports Yediot Tel Aviv. The apology and the compensation were decided as part of a compromise agreement after the boy's mother sued the school, the city and the ministry over their refusal to give her son an aide for certain lessons, despite the ministry's own instructions to do so. According to the report, the problems began in 2002 when the boy, identified only as Yuval, was in the Fifth Grade in Ramat Aviv's Nitzanim school. Then aged 12 and fully disabled because of a medical condition, he was unable to participate independently in computer lessons. The Education Ministry instructed the school and the city to give him an aide for those lessons, but the school did not, and the boy was reportedly left outside in the corridor, in the principal's office or in other, younger classes during computer lessons. The school denied that the boy had been left outside classes, and claimed that he had a regular aide. The report said the mother tried for two years to obtain the aide, and in 2004 began legal proceedings against the city and the ministry, seeking compensation for the suffering endured by her son. The family initially demanded NIS 200,000 in compensation, saying, "It is hard to explain adequately the sorrow and pain of a small boy suffering from serious medical problems who finds himself treated in a humiliating, discriminatory and dismissive way." Last week, the sides reached a compromise, with the school, the city and the ministry agreeing to write a letter of apology and to pay NIS 50,000 in compensation. "We recognize the fact that Yuval was not given the aide that was approved for him," the letter says. "We are sorry for the misunderstanding, which came about by accident and not intentionally. We are sorry if you and Yuval were made to suffer following a one-time incident in which he was left in a corridor, a one-time incident in which he stayed in the principal's room or in a class of children not his age. For the pain and the heartache this caused, we apologize."