School Backtracks After Students Left Out Of Yearbook
After an outraged mother complained that her daughter with Down syndrome and others with special needs were left out of the yearbook, school officials are changing course.
Leslee Bailey said she was stunned when she learned that her daughter Amber Bailey, 21, was left out of the Blue Peak High School yearbook. Amber has Down syndrome and has participated in a transition program on the campus of the Tooele, Utah school for years and has always been included in the yearbook, Bailey said.
“Of course I brought her to school every day and said, ‘oh I hope you get your yearbook today, I’m really excited,'” Bailey told FOX13 in Salt Lake City. “And I looked through it and I looked through it and I looked through it and I said, ‘Amber you’re not in it and she said, ‘I know,’ and I said ‘why aren’t you in it,’ and she said ‘I don’t know.'”
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The school district initially defended the omission of the 17 students with special needs in the transition program by indicating that they are technically separate from the high school even though they share a building.
“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,” the Tooele County School District said in a statement to FOX13.
Facing backlash over the incident, however, school officials now say they will produce a yearbook insert featuring the students in the transition program that will be available next week.