Portland Special Needs Student Reportedly Punished By Mowing School’s Lawn

PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Seattle) – A Portland sixth-grader with special needs has reportedly been forced by his middle school’s counselor to mow the school’s lawn as punishment for falling asleep in class.

KATU-TV reports that Kyron Sloan, an 11-year-old Alice Ott Middle School student with ADD and Asperger’s, kept falling asleep in class from a potential unknown medical condition. Without asking the boy’s mother, Sloan’s counselor allegedly ordered the special-needs student to mow the lawn.

“Every morning I get pulled out of my homeroom to go mow the lawn,” Sloan told KATU-TV. “We use those push mowers, which is really frustrating. And when I mow the lawn, I sneeze a lot because I have allergies and it’s really frustrating for me. I didn’t know what I did. I tried to keep myself awake, but I feel like I didn’t deserve this kind of treatment.”

Sloan’s move from the classroom to the lawn has infuriated his mother, who has demanded that the person responsible be dismissed. The district is still looking into the punishment, and that the case remains under investigation.

David Douglas School District spokesman Dan McCue told CBS Seattle that the administration hasn’t set a timetable on when the situation will be resolved.

“We’re gathering all the information we can,” he said. “At some point, we will sit down with the family and solve it between us.”

McCue added: “Anytime we find that a situation causes us to rethink our procedures, then we’ll look into it.”

Sloan told the station he tries to keep himself awake by drinking water, taking walks around the school, and standing up during class. Still, Sloan can’t help but feel like he’s being picked on.

“I think that’s not a punishment,” he told the television station. “I think that’s being a bully.”

  • Frank Johnson

    Is there something wrong with mowing the lawn? I guess doing something for your school is not necessary. How many parents have not given their child a chore for doing something wrong? What is the cost for educating that student–Based upon 20 years as an educator I would bet the cost is over $18,000. per year and he falls asleept. We have manufactured too many spurious diagnosis for not doing the right thing. What would happen on a job if he was found sleeping when attending a meeting? Better to learn now than become another unemployed public supported nonworker.

    • Amanda

      Your 20 years as an educator obviously were not spent teaching English grammar and spelling.

    • Brian Tasker

      If he fell asleep on the job then he would be like lots of our law makers at the state and federal level. As an alleged educator you should know that there are child labor laws being violated. He is not covered by the School insurance company to operate machinery. If I were the parent of the child I would report this to Social Services, press charges through the police for child endangerment and engage a Lawyer. Are you a doctor? Can you confirm that the kid does not have a medical condition causing this? Is it related to his medications? If you think that the punishment from the School is both legal and just then you have no business being an educator. This is both a form of physical abuse and mental abuse to the child. Surely the sensible thing would be to have a Medical Professional or Specialist find out why he falls asleep. I have a condition called Sleep Apnea that causes me to be tired during the day and to fall asleep at times. I am a disabled veteran and know an awful lot about disabilities as I have a multitude of them that are related to serving my country so people like you can write illogical statements like your one above. By the way, English Language Studies was my minor subject when I studied in England for my Degree. I agree with the other poster; your grammar and spelling leave a lot to be desired. You should be ashamed of yourself for your post. I would be embarrassed if I were you.

  • Patty

    I am the mother of 2 children with ADHD and bipolor. They are special needs children . One is 18 an the other one is 11, they have problems in school but are delt with accordingly. NOT BY MOWING THE SCHOOL LAWNS!!!! I would have their heads on a plater if they even tried something like that. There are people that work for the school to do that. I am so outraged about this. An as for Mr.. Johnson, I think its time for you to retire.

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