Blue Peak High School has finally reached a compromise agreement with the parents of the special needs students enrolled in a Transition Program that’s being taught inside the school’s Community Learning Center.
The move by the school follows a complaint by a mother of one of the special needs students who said that her daughter, who has Down Syndrome, has been left out of the school’s yearbook.
The mother, Leslee Bailey, said that by doing so, the school was in a way, denying her child’s existence. According to her:
“The principal called and apologized and said he never meant to exclude anybody and he certainly didn’t want to hurt anyone. It was a mistake that shouldn’t have happened, but it did.”
The school district clarified that the special needs students under the Transition Program are technically not students of the Blue Peak High School, and that it just so happens that students under the program are having classes inside the high school’s building. In a statement, the school district said:
“No special education students were discriminated against or left out of the high school experience of being included in a yearbook. All students involved in this program have already been included in high school yearbooks from their 9-12 grade years.”
But Mrs. Bailey protested that her daughter had been in the school yearbook for the past three years. When she asked Amber why she wasn’t in the yearbook, her daughter replied, “I don’t know.”
Blue Peak High School says it is now in the process of printing a separate page for the school yearbook that will feature all the students of the Transition Program.
Although the school’s yearbook has already been printed out prior to Blue Peak’s decision to include the special needs students, the school says the separate page dedicated to the Transition Program students can be easily inserted in the yearbooks that were already previously printed out.
Source: Robert Boyd on the Fox 13 Salt Lake City news site: Tooele School District, special needs parents reach compromise over yearbook photos