Katherine Phillips, assistant principal of an elite private middle school in Kuwait, is trapped in the country. Her problems started more than a year ago, when she put several boys on in-school detention for a day for fighting. The well-connected father of one boy threatened to “destroy” her.
First, the school’s discipline policies were investigated by the Ministry of Education, which ruled that the school could not use in-school suspensions. Then the father filed a case against Phillips for â€œillegal detainmentâ€ of his son. On June 13, she was stopped from boarding a plane at the airport because of the “pending investigation.”
The U.S. Embassy has not helped lift the travel ban. Kuwaiti officials seem to be stalling her. The school is closed and her colleagues soon will be gone for the summer. She writes:
I do not feel safe. I am not safe. I need someone from the US to acknowledge the urgency of my situation and coordinate my release. I committed no crime. I am simply the victim of â€œwastaâ€ which roughly translates into â€œinfluence/pressureâ€ at a high level.
International Schools Review advises teachers and administrators not to take jobs or return to jobs in Kuwait until the situation is resolved.