July 1, 2022

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Special education students left out of high school graduation program feel ‘discriminated’

3 min read


Months of anticipation turned to disappointment when 6 California special schooling graduating learners recognized their names were being not involved in their high school’s graduation application and their diplomas ended up not requested in time for the ceremony.

Putting on his blue button-up shirt and a purple bow tie to match his school’s pirate-themed colours, Joseph Sanchez-Muñoz attended his San Leandro Significant Faculty graduation on June 9, “super psyched to make my household proud,” he informed NBC News.

As a scholar dwelling with a scarce disease just after surviving cancer as a toddler, graduating from large college is a milestone that holds more importance for Joseph and his family.

But immediately after learning he and five other special education were being excluded from the graduation program, he “felt sad, frustrated,” Joseph, 18, stated.

“I felt discriminated,” Joseph’s mother, Elena Muñoz, instructed NBC News. “Why were the youngsters not in there? Is it due to the fact they are distinctive ed young children? Why did they depart them guiding?”

Joseph underwent liver and kidney transplants whilst battling cancer. He was then identified with Hao-Fountain Syndrome, a rare illness prompted by mutations in the USP7 gene that can influence a large array of actual physical and behavioral features.

Elena Muñoz and Joseph Sanchez-Muñoz.Courtesy Blanca Ruelas

“They shattered a second that I was intended to hold in memory,” Muñoz, 34, who is a wellness care employee in San Leandro, stated. “Not being aware of how extended I’m going to have my son, each and every milestone, it’s a major milestone.”

The early morning after graduation, Joseph cleaned the frame where he experienced planned to position his large school diploma.

Muñoz and a couple of the other dad and mom and learners went to choose up the diplomas up from the university but had been told they would have to wait a thirty day period for the reason that they had forgotten to purchase them, she claimed.

Joseph's cap.
Joseph’s cap.Courtesy Elena Muñoz

“The mothers just felt like the district did not respect us,” Muñoz explained.

A spokesperson for the San Leandro Unified University District told NBC News this type of “clerical error” experienced not earlier occurred in the special schooling program’s heritage.

“We are conducting a whole overview of our graduation procedures to guarantee that a important mistake like this does not happen once again in the long run,” San Leandro Significant University principals said in a assertion.

As element of an apology, the school promised to hand-supply the diplomas early subsequent week. The families presently gained up-to-date graduation plans.

When their names ended up not in the beginning bundled in the printed graduation plan, Joseph and the 5 other graduates had been ready to have their names introduced as they walked across the phase the day of commencement.

A group of moms and dads are scheduling on having authorized motion against the school, as they “just want improvements of equality for all people with disabilities,” Elena Muñoz explained.

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