When officials at an Oregon university decided that a 20-year-old with Down syndrome could no longer audit a ceramics class, the woman’s peers responded in force.
Eliza Schaaf was auditing a ceramics course at Southern Oregon University until she received a letter from the school Nov. 8 indicating that her need for extensive one-on-one assistance “resulted in a disruption of curriculum delivery and interfered with the teaching and learning environment for the instructor and other students.” University officials informed Schaaf that as a result she would be withdrawn from the course.
That didn’t sit well with Schaaf’s classmates who said that she was not a disruption and that her inclusion added to their college experience. All 19 of the other students in Schaaf’s class signed a petition asking that she be allowed to remain in the course. What’s more, the university’s student senate voted to oppose the school’s decision.