MiamiHerald / In Cuba, the darkness that surrounded 15-year-old Katherine Sanchez was more than just physical – it was emotional.

Blind since birth, Katherine endured first the medical shortcomings that led to her loss of sight, then the academic deficiencies of her country that led to a disjointed education, and finally the emotional abuse of classmates – and even teachers – who bullied her relentlessly, she said.

One visually impaired classmate would get aggressive with her, repeatedly hitting her on the arms. Teachers at her school often ridiculed her for her weight. And one teacher took pleasure in scaring her, draping a white sheet over her head like a ghost and sneaking up on Katherine.

“They would go, ‘Ahhhh,’ ” said Katherine, who would then be reprimanded for getting frightened.


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