California School in Hot Water for Forcing Special Needs Students to Sift Through the Trash

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A mother was outraged after finding out that her special needs son was forced to sift through the trash in search of recyclable items as a first day of school activity.

When Carmen Wells asked her son Marcus what he did for his first day of school, he explained  that he and the rest of the children with special needs were told to put on gloves and dig through the trash around campus to find any recyclable cans or bottles.

Wells was appalled after her son told her the unsavory act he had to participate in.

“My kid should not be in the garbage can for your recycling,” said Carmen Wells according to CBS Los Angeles. “The shame and the embarrassment for the children, it hurts,” she said. Wells discovered the assignment when her special needs son, Marcus, came home from the first day of school looking very upset.

Patriot Vally High School in California’s Riverside County has required children with special needs to do this “activity” for years. Jurupa Unified School District claimed that the activity was intended to teach children with special needs the importance of money management, along with many other life skills.

School officials issued a statement after Wells spoke out about the issue:

 “Yesterday, a parent new to the school expressed concern about the way in which students collected the recyclable materials… In response, the school temporarily suspended the activity in order to review the current process and consider changes.”

Since receiving the backlash, the school district has claimed that they will now use recycling bins rather than force special needs students to search through the dirty trash.