Some moms say it was intentional. What do you think?
When the mom of 8-year-old twins Hunter and Holden Granger discovered their class was left out of the yearbook at Quail Glen Elementary--along with two other classrooms of autistic children--she took action. Momlogic got the exclusive interview with Darla Granger:
Momlogic: When did you notice that the kids were missing?
Darla Granger: They came home with the yearbook in their backpacks on the last day of school and I didn't notice it. On Monday I started cleaning out their backpacks because they have summer school. I was looking through the yearbook and I went to the second grade section because that's where I figured they'd be and they weren't there. I'm not sure they completely grasp that they weren't in it, but I know that they would have noticed if they were in it. I showed them the collage, which they loved because it had a picture of them. They love to point out their classmates. Three classrooms of autistic children were all excluded.
Momlogic: Do you believe that this was intentional?
Darla: We actually never used the word "intentional" ourselves--that was the media. I don't think that it was done to be cruel. I think it's a problem in the district between bridging the gap between special needs kids and other kids. It's like we're squatters--we're here but we're not welcome. We don't get information about the newsletter, carnivals--you're kept in the dark. We've always had modular trailers that were as far away you could get while still being on campus. It's not just about the yearbook, but about a pattern we've seen through the years.
Momlogic: Have Hunter and Holden been discriminated against before?
Darla: Actually, they've made some really good friends. Holden played kickball with two mainstream little girls; when the adults have allowed the integration, it has been great. Why not follow the kids' example? It's OK to be different.
Momlogic: What, if anything, could the school do to make it up to you?
Darla: The school still hasn't contacted us. The district has apologized, the county has said that they're going to implement changes. We're outlining a letter to the Placer County Board of Education of the things that we want changed. We need to bridge the gap between these kids and the mainstream kids. I want to hear from the school, and I wanted to hear from the principal directly. She's handled it very poorly--she was very snappy and said, 'Your parent coordinator didn't submit the photos and we had to go to print.' You're telling me that if three classes were missing that no one noticed? I asked, 'Is that the excuse that you're giving me? Is that the excuse you want me to take to those above you?' She didn't act very compassionate. So we filed a complaint and took it to the media.
A reliable source--a teacher who has posted blogs, is saying that this isn't the first time the yearbook issue has popped up with the same classroom. Negligence can be a form of intent if you don't care enough to fix it. I'm hoping that now that we've exposed it to the world that other people around the world can use it to help them. That's the only reason we did it.
Do you think the omission was a mistake or an act of intentional discrimination?