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.”