U.S. News


School Excludes Students With Special Needs From Yearbook

A Utah high school did not include students from a local transition program in its yearbook this year, despite having done so in the past.
Posted at 12:43 PM, May 19, 2015

Some students with special needs were left out of the picture — literally. Utah's Blue Peak High School did not include them in its yearbook.

"It's kind of like they singled out the students that are in the transition program," Leslee Bailey, the mother of one of the students with special needs, told KSTU.

Amber Bailey has Down syndrome and is also a student at the Tooele County's transition program, specifically meant for students with special needs who have graduated high school already. 

But the program has been included in the high school's yearbook the past two years. Just not this year. Why? Well, KSTU spoke with the Mat Jackson, the director of special education for the county.

"They don't participate in classes with those Blue Peak High School kids," Jackson said.

In the past, high school students have helped tutor students with special needs.

They didn't do that this year, but the program is still obviously affiliated with the school.

Fox News anchors were rather opinionated about the exclusion. 

"How terrible is that?" Fox News anchor Elisabeth Hasselbeck said.

"For them just to stop, it seems hard-hearted. So, come on, just add a couple of pages, put these kids in, it seems like the right thing to do, " anchor Steve Doocy said.

Fox News anchor Steve Doocy mentioned his lunch ladies were in his yearbook. They obviously didn't attend the school but were part of it. 

And Fox also tweeted out the story, leading to viewer responses like: "They shouldn't do that to ... children!" and "there is no excuse!"

Nearly one in five people in the United States fall into the category of having some type of disability, according to the Census Bureau's statistics for 2010.

"It seems they've gone back in time ... and we're going to tuck them away and say 'no, they don't exist,'" Leslee Bailey said.