SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – An angry Utah mother says school administrators made a mistake by leaving her daughter and her special education classmates out of a high school yearbook for the first time in years without announcing the change.
Leslee Bailey said yearbooks published by Blue Peak High School in Tooele, Utah, typically include pictures of students who attend a job skills program that shares the building.
Her daughter Amber Bailey, 21, however, realized she wasn’t in this year’s edition only after going through it several times.
“She was disappointed,” Leslee Bailey said Tuesday. “She was waiting to see herself and her friends.”
Tooele County School District Superintendent Scott Rogers said the decision was made to reflect that special needs program and alternative high school were separate, and it wasn’t motivated by malice or bad intentions.
He said workforce transition program participants and Blue Peak high students rarely interact, adding that the 18- to 22-year-old special education learners instead received a commemorative video, which was shown at a year-end banquet.
“I don’t think anyone at Blue Peak felt like they were doing anything exclusionary,” Rogers said. “We don’t exclude special education students.”
Leslee Bailey disagreed, saying the students interact in the lunchroom, on the school bus and in the hallways.
She said parents and students should have been advised of the change.
“The yearbook is not for the administration,” Leslee Bailey said. “It’s for the students. Nobody asked the students what they wanted.”
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.