When Danielle Goodwyn went into her son’s classroom at Whatcom Middle School, Bellingham School District, Washington, she was upset.
“The teacher informed us that he would be studying in the bathroom,” she told KCPQ.
A desk is seen sitting over the toilet, and a chair is next to the sink. On the bathroom floor lies a napping mat, which her son, Lucas, was expected to use to sleep.
Eleven-year-old Lucas has autism. The sixth-grader has special needs and requires a quiet learning environment.
According to a statement from the Bellingham School District officials, it appears that the restroom was set up as a possible separate quiet learning space, but no student was placed in there.
Goodwyn said there have been no issues with meeting Lucas’s education needs at the district in the past. But now Lucas said he feels scared.
“I thought this was going to be where I was for the rest of the year,” he said.
The desk has then been removed, and staff at the school are aware that space should not be used for that purpose in the future, the statement reads.
However, for Goodwyn and her son, removing the desk not only helps her son’s self-esteem but relieves his embarrassment. The mother has taken her son out of school and is sharing her story to warn parents. If she did not go into her son’s class that day, she wouldn’t have known about any of this.
The district said they are still investigating.