A middle school in Washington state was set on fire this week for allegedly planning to take an autistic student with special needs to a bathroom so he is reportedly protected from loud noises.
Danielle Goodwin, the 11-year-old mother, said she discovered the alleged agreement last Monday while attending Whatcom Middle School in Bellingham.
"The teacher told us he would learn in the bathroom," Goodwin told Q13 Fox.
Her son Lucas needed a quiet place to study because loud noises trigger his condition, she said.
"We tried to find a quieter place for him," she said.
Goodwin reportedly made a photo that clearly offended the boy. You could see his desk above a toilet and his chair next to a sink. Goodwin said the school also put a mat on the floor in case the boy had to take a nap.
"I was stunned," Goodwin told KOMO News. "I was so shocked that I only took the picture because I did not believe what I saw."
Lucas said the arrangement had scared him and he thought this would be where I was for the rest of the world year.
Goodwin said she had taken her son out of school because the faculty offered no alternative to the arrangement.
"We are still waiting to hear about the district," she said.
In the midst of social media outrage, Superintendent Greg Baker issued a statement declaring that limited resources for schools have created "limited space for fulfilling the students' educational and social-emotional needs".
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"This current situation is an example of how employees are trying to find a solution to temporarily reuse a space. To our knowledge, the room was used as a storage room and not as an active toilet, "it said in the statement. "Again, my preliminary assessment is that this idea was well intentioned, but in the end, we did not make progress."
The Bellingham School District said in a separate statement that he was still dealing with the matter and the desk was removed.
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"[I] It appears that the toilet was set up as a possible separate, quiet study room, but no student was placed there. The desk has been removed and the school staff are aware that the room should not be used for this purpose in the future.
Goodwin confirmed the removal of the desk, but added, "It does not help my son's self-esteem, his embarrassment. "