Middle school is known for being a challenging time in life for many kids. There are a lot of changes taking place and many are struggling to figure out who they are and to build up their self confidence. Middle school is even harder for an 11-year-old boy who has autism, and one middle school’s response to a special needs request did not go so well.
Lucas Goodwin attends Whatcom Middle School in Washington state, where his mother, Danielle Goodwin, requested he be given a quiet, more private place to do his work and to help him focus better. To accommodate this request, staff at Whatcom Middle chose to move his desk into a school bathroom, placing it over a toilet, according to USA Today.
As cruel as that sounds, the school claims there was a legitimate reason for sticking Lucas’ desk in the restroom. They say they are dealing with limited funding and have therefore repurposed the bathroom as additional study space. They assured him that nobody would be using the restroom as a restroom when he was in there.
However, being told his best option for a study space was inside a stall was deeply upsetting for Lucas. Luckily, his mother found out about his desk’s new location when dropping him off at school and was able to take him home. However, Lucas had already seen where his desk now was and became severely anxious over it.
Danielle recalled the trauma her son experienced that day.
“My son was humiliated, embarrassed, and disgusted at this inhumane suggestion that he work in a bathroom. I immediately took my son home and he will not be returning. When we got home he was throwing up from the anxiety.”
Putting Lucas’ desk in the bathroom was not only putting him at risk emotionally, it also posed an actual physical health risk to him. Lucas has an autoimmune disorder called pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder, which means his body is more susceptible to germs than the average child. Spending all day surrounded by the germs of a public restroom could lead to major health consequences for him.
Lucas’ mom says her son has not been to school since the incident occurred and she also shared the incident, along with a heartbreaking photo of her son standing in the bathroom looking at the desk, on Facebook. The post quickly gained mass media attention.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, those who are differently abled can conquer most any challenge when given the right resources and the right environment to learn and succeed. Kodi Lee, for example, has inspired people around the world with his musical talents on America’s Got Talent. Lee, who is both blind and autistic, ended up winning this season in an emotional finale episode.