Teachers Fight Special Needs Accommodation
A teachers group is fighting a plan to allow a student with a disability to use a faculty restroom, all because they say the accommodation violates their right to exclusive facilities.
Eighteen teachers — including two special educators — signed a petition filed alongside a union grievance after administrators opted to allow a student at Park Elementary School near Pittsburgh to use the faculty restroom, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The student has a physical limitation, school officials say, which makes it difficult for the child to climb stairs needed to access the student facilities. The school’s bottom floor does not have a student restroom nor is there elevator access.
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Teachers at the school argue the plan violates a provision of their contract stating that the school will provide “lavatory facilities exclusively for employees’ use.”
School officials, however, say the building has other faculty-only restrooms and the district has an obligation to “meet the needs of students with disabilities.”
The Steel Valley school board voted unanimously Thursday night to deny the teachers’ grievance and allow the student to use the faculty restroom, the Post-Gazette reports.
(Updated: March 27, 2015 at 10:30 AM CT)