In Bellingham, Washington, eleven year-old, Lucas Goodwin was shocked and confused when he found out that his “quiet spot” in school was going to be set up in the bathroom, where he would have to nap on the ground.
Goodwin’s mother, Danielle Goodwin, shared her son’s story with ABC 7 News, explaining that when she asked his teacher if there was another option for the placement of his desk, the teacher responded “no.” Goodwin’s mother told ABC 7 News that “It’s not an appropriate place for anyone. But especially for Lucas who, with his Pandas condition, can’t be around germs. That’s something that can really affect his body, Goodwin does not want to go back to school.”
The bathroom was quite small and not very clean, the desk was positioned over the toilet and a chair placed nearby. A parent of a student in the school district told ABC 7 News “These conditions are highly inhumane”.
ABC 7 News reached out to school district spokeswoman and she told reporters that “space has always been an issue at the school”. Greg Baker, the superintendent of Bellingham Public Schools, said in a statement on Friday September 2, 2019, that staff members had been “trying to seek a solution to temporarily repurpose a room,” adding that it had been “used as storage, not as an active restroom. We are all probably aware that state funding for schools is limited, particularly with regards to construction, and thus schools often have limited space to meet students’ instructional and social-emotional needs.”