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Autistic Student Being Pushed out of Public School

Heather Houston just wants her son to get the schooling he needs and is entitled to. But the public school he attends in Northern California doesn't want to continue teaching him. David Swanson, 21, is Houston's son and he has autism. Apparently, under the Free Appropriate Public Education regulation, the school is required to teach each student, “regardless of the nature or severity of the person’s disability.” Swanson is eligible until he turns 22 next year.

On the first day of classes at the Yuba City Unified School this year, Swanson was actually turned away from going to class. Just two weeks later, now, the school has offered Houston $86,000 to take Swanson out of their public school and move him to a private institution. And while Houston hasn't been happy with the way the school has been treating her son for a while now (she's lodged numerous formal complaints), she says, “You could offer me a million. I'm not going to take any money to sign away my son's rights to an education," she told a local news station.

How do you feel about this? It seems like the school is doing everything in its power to make Houston feel uncomfortable with having her son taught there: Among the complaints she filed, teachers were discriminating against her son by, for instance, bringing cupcakes to class, but not one for Swanson. They also left his iPad, a main method of learning, out in the rain because they thought he "was bringing a recording device into the classroom.” Unbelievable!

Image via Heather Houston

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