A Utah high school has come under fire after it refused to put a special needs student in the yearbook, since she doesn't participate in classes with high school kids.
Amber Bailey, 21, is one of 17 students who take classes at Tooele County’s Community Learning Center, which is in the same building as Blue Peak High School. For the past two years Bailey, who suffers from Down syndrome, has been featured in the yearbook. However, this year, the school decided not to include students from the learning center.
“It’s kind of like they singled out the students who were in the transition program and said, 'We don’t want you in our yearbook,’” Leslee Bailey, Amber’s mother, told WTVR. “They’ve been to school with these kids … How would you feel if it was your child?”
The principal reportedly argued that there were not enough pages in the yearbook to include the students from the learning center, Mrs. Bailey reported.
Mat Jackson, director of special education for Tooele County, cited a different reason for not including those students in the yearbook. He argued that since the goal of the transitional program is to help students move on from high school, it doesn’t make sense to be involved in high school activities.
“It bothers me because it seems they’ve gone back in time to where we’re not including them,” Mrs. Bailey said. “And we are going to tuck them away and say, ‘No, they don’t exist.’”
Mrs. Bailey noted that she simply wants the best for her daughter.
Photo Credit: Fox News, tooeleschools.org