Washington school places autistic student's desk in bathroom
A Washington school is facing mounting criticism after an autistic student's desk was moved into a bathroom.
Danielle Goodwin says that when she visited Whatcom Middle School, she found her son's desk in a bathroom stall, over a toilet. His chair was near the sink, Seattle TV station KOMO reports.
Shocked, Goodwin took a photo and posted it to Facebook, where it was shared thousands of times.
"My son has special needs and does best in a very quiet place," she wrote. "This was his teacher's solution...yes, that is my son in a bathroom. Yes, that is my son's desk over a toilet. She also provided a camping mat and pillow for him to nap....on the bathroom floor."
Goodwin said the school refused to allow her son to move to the library, instead.
"I can't believe that there was anybody that thought this was a good idea," Shannon McMinimee, an attorney for the family, told CNN. "There's a lot of different ways you can accommodate students with disabilities without humiliating them."
In a written statement, Bellingham Public School Superintendent Greg Baker said limited state funding was to blame. He also said the decision to move the boy was "well-intentioned."
"This current situation is an example of staff trying to seek a solution to temporarily repurpose a room. To our knowledge, the room had been used as storage, not as an active restroom," Baker said. "We are always looking for creative ways to best use our facilities to meet students’ needs."