School puts desk of special needs student in bathroom


BELLINGHAM, Washington (CNN) — A middle school in Washington state was alerted that one of their students has special needs and does best in a quiet place.

However, the student’s mother said the space they moved him to is definitely not a room for rest.

“Sad, stressed, embarrassed,” said student Lucas Goodwin.

The look of disgust is clear on his face.

Lucas’ mother Danielle Goodwin took photos when they came to the school Monday to find his new quiet learning place had been put inside a functioning bathroom.

The 11-year-old’s desk was over a toilet.

“I was like, ‘How is this happening? How am I in the bathroom? Why?’” Lucas said.

Danielle Goodwin said the teacher also gave him a camping mat to nap on the bathroom floor.

“I was so shocked, I just took the picture because I didn’t believe what I was seeing,” she said.

Lucas is autistic and has an autoimmune disorder.

When they found the desk in the bathroom, Danielle asked if there was another option. She said the teacher told her there wasn’t.

“It’s not an appropriate place for anyone, but especially for Lucas, who, with his PANDAS condition, can’t be around germs,” Danielle said. “That’s something that can really affect his body.”

Lucas said he doesn’t want to go back to Whatcom Middle School.

“‘Oh yeah, we’ll just put them in the bathroom Perfect space.’ That’s not fine,” he said.

A Bellingham School District spokeswoman said the desk was set up last weekend. She notes space has been an issue at the school.

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