School puts desk of student with special needs in bathroom

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (KOMO/CNN/Gray News) — A middle school boy with special needs is furious that his desk was moved to a bathroom.

Mom of a student with special needs blasts his middle school after they put his desk in a bathroom. (Source: KOMO, Danielle Goodwin)

It wasn't a prank. It was the school’s doing.

Danielle Goodwin said her son, Lucas, has autism and an autoimmune disorder so he does best in a quiet place.

Goodwin said she talked it over with the teacher and then brought the 11-year-old to Whatcom Middle School on Monday.

His teacher’s solution was the solitude of the bathroom and the boy’s desk was over a toilet.

“Sad, stressed, embarrassed,” said Lucas. “I was like how is this happening? How am I in the bathroom? Why?”

Goodwin said the teacher also gave him a camping mat to nap on the bathroom floor.

“I was stunned,” she said. “I was so shocked I just took the picture because I didn’t believe what I was seeing.”

When they found the desk in the bathroom, mom asked if there was another option, she said the teacher said no.

“It’s not an appropriate place for anyone, but especially for Lucas with his PANDAS condition (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections), he can’t be around germs,” Goodwin said.

“It smelled and just the thought of my son working his school day away in a bathroom was disturbing to me.”

She immediately took Lucas home and he said he doesn’t want to go back to Whatcom Middle School.

“’Oh yeah, we’ll just put him in the bathroom, perfect space,’ that’s not OK. You don’t do that,” said Lucas Goodwin.

A spokeswoman with the Bellingham Public Schools said space has been an issue at the school.

“I can tell you that we are aware of the situation, and that we have taken immediate steps to remove the desk depicted in the photo and ensure that this space is not used as a learning space,” the representative said.

"We received a complaint … and we are continuing to investigate.”

Copyright 2019 KOMO via CNN and Gray Television Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



 
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