Special ed kids sort trash, parents complain

Special ed students won’t be assigned to sort trash as part of a “life skills” class at a Southern California high school. Patriot High special-ed students were told to go through campus bins to find recyclables that had been thrown away.

Jurupa Unified Superintendent Elliot Duchon apologized to angry parents for the assignment.

“It is disgusting,” said Carmen Wells, who complained after learning her autistic son was digging through trash on his first day as a high school freshman.

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  1. They have been doing the same thing at my school for years without complaint.

  2. Ann in L.A. says:

    I thought sorting trash was the apotheosis of our entire society!

  3. This is done by a club at my zoned high school. Any student may join the club and participate.

  4. palisadesk says:

    They stopped allowing students to do this in my district due to concerns about drug paraphernalia and needles in the school trash bins (coming from outside sources, not students — buildings used for community activities at night).

    We do have a few scheduled all-school cleanup days where students are equipped with protective gloves etc. and go round the schoolyard picking up trash and litter, but that’s as far as it goes. The students are instructed not to pick up needles or broken glass or other hazardous items but to flag them for staff to deal with.