Manama: A Saudi elementary school student has been told to choose between her continuing her studies and acting on social media.
Eight-year-old Mayar said she was sitting in class with her fifth grade mates when, to her surprise, she was summoned by the school principal.
The principal reportedly told her that she had achieved fame thanks to social media where she was seen acting out different roles.
However, she now had to choose between focusing on her studies and continuing to appear in short clips as an actress.
Mayar said that following the principal’s threats, a school counsellor blamed her and warned her against acting on social media.
“It was shocking and the principal should have talked to my parents, not to me,” Mayar said on a clip she posted on social media. “Is there a law that bans students from appearing on social media which were to me a great platform to engage in my hobbies and achieve fame at the same time?”
Mayar’s mother said that she contacted the school principal to learn more about the scope of the issue.
“However, her arguments did not convince me, and my daughter is in fact the victim of unfairness and jealousy,” she said. “In fact, there should be an apology from the school that attempted to kill her skills and gift instead of encouraging her. They are praising her academic achievements, but bothering her about her acting and fame.”
The education district is looking into the case following the mother’s formal complaint.
Social media users were divided over the school attitude, from outright rejection of their “jealousy-laced threats” to Mayar to full support to the principal for “providing wise guidance to a pre-teen student”.