School Moves Desk of Special Needs Boy to Bathroom

A middle school boy with special needs is upset after his school moved his desk to the bathroom. The move wasn't a mistake or prank, but instead one teacher's attempt to solve

Danielle Goodwin told KOMO that her son Lucas, has been diagnosed with autism and an autoimmune disorder and does his best learning in a quiet place. Goodwin told the station that she discussed her son's needs with his teacher and brought her 11-year-old to Whatcom Middle School on Monday.

However, the teacher apparently thought that the best solution for Lucas was to set up his desk in the bathroom, with the desk sitting over a toilet.

“Sad, stressed, embarrassed,” Lucas told the TV station. “I was like how is this happening? How am I in the bathroom? Why?”

Goodwin said the teacher also gave her son a camping mat in case he wanted to take a cat nap on the bathroom floor. The mother was floored when she saw the conditions for herself. When Goodwin asked if there might be another option other than sticking her son in the bathroom, the teacher said no.

“It’s not an appropriate place for anyone, but especially for Lucas with his PANDAS condition (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections), he can’t be around germs,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said the bathroom smelled and said the thought of her son working away during the school day in a bathroom was "disturbing."

She yanked Lucas out of the class and he says he doesn't want to go back to the middle school in

A spokeswoman for the Bellingham Public School district said in a statement to KOMO that space has been an issue at the school over the last few years.

“I can tell you that we are aware of the situation, and that we have taken immediate steps to remove the desk depicted in the photo and ensure that this space is not used as a learning space,” the representative said.

"We received a complaint … and we are continuing to investigate.”