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SPECIAL Ed Kids Doing Janitorial Work at School

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 at 6:01 am in Schools.

Slide 1A Washington high school is teaching special education students about responsibility by assigning them janitorial duties. A district spokeswoman told the Tacoma News-Tribune it was simply a transition to vocational training, and that the program included recycling and yard work. But Puyallup High School dad Bernie Dalien, whose son is in the special ed program, said his daughter saw special ed kids wiping down cafeteria tables and – wait for it – picking up garbage, including condoms and cigarette stubs, with their bare hands.

And we’re left wondering, what kind of vocational training is this? Your thoughts?

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No Responses to “SPECIAL Ed Kids Doing Janitorial Work at School”

  1. Rachelle Goldenberg Says:

    Outrageous! Just because children are in “special ed” doesn’t mean that their future career is in Janitorial…and furthermore….imagine the even further level of separation for these kids picking up after their peers. Deplorable!

  2. John Says:

    I work as a “custodian” in Washington state. Also, as a substitute teacher during the day (for the last 6 years). There is nothing wrong with teaching a good work ethic. No essential job is “demeaning” I have children of all grade levels asking me if they can help out at lunch. Also, the “condom incident” would be rare and not something anyone would allow a student to come in contact with. Funny, how people look down upon someone for what they are doing for a living. This job allows me to work near my home and near my child.

  3. Bernie Dalien Says:

    I am the parent of the Student identified in this article, My response is to “John” the janitor. First off this is a job you chose for yourself. I do not look down on Custodians or grounds keepers. My son is not given a choice to do these tasks at school, he is directed to do so. Other students are not required to do so, in fact it is issued as punishment to pick up trash. When teaching a vocational skill to a Special Education Student you must consider the childs are of interest and strengths per federal law (Individual Disabilities Education Act). My sons area of interests are computers, art, science and marine life, not janitorial work. In addition it is against your union to to have these students doing your work. It is potentially taking employment away from another union member. It was never communicated to my wife or I that our son was doing these tasks.

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