Local News

Clerical error keeps Cary girl from magnet program

Posted May 29, 2009 6:49 p.m. EDT
Updated May 30, 2009 6:33 a.m. EDT

A Cary girl was disappointed when, her parents say, a school district error denied her a place in a highly coveted program.

Leila Beikmohamadi, 12, was looking forward to switching schools next fall, when she will enter eighth grade.

Earlier this spring, Leila got a letter of acceptance to the gifted and talented magnet program at Martin Middle School. Two months later, Wake school officials called Leila's parents. Her acceptance was a mistake. She does not have a place in the class.

“We're upset, because we planned based on what we were told,” her father, Allan, said.

To start the application process, Leila, who attends a charter school, first had to register at her base school, Reedy Creek Middle School.

Someone there hit the wrong key and entered Leila as a sixth-grader instead of an eighth-grader. Martin Middle School only had room for sixth graders in its magnet program.

“Unfortunately, there was a human error,” Michael Evans, school district spokesman, said.

Even without the error, Martin had no space for Leila.

“No seventh- or eighth- graders were accepted into Martin, so at this point, even if she applied as an eighth-grader, she would not have been accepted,” Evans said.

The Beikmohamadis think – error or no error – the school district should uphold its promise to Leila.

“The organization I work for, we make a mistake, we honor it,” Allan Beikmohamadi said. He hopes Wake schools will do the same.

Evans said the family can appeal the decision before the school board.