Separate But Equal: Kitchen and Shower


October 26, 2022.
Kitchen and Shower.

Is it equal for special education students?

What’s in the news?
Sprague is latest Salem high school to get a remodel
by Salem Reporter, Salem, OR.

Were special education students included in the story?

what’s the story?

Sprague High School in Salem, Oregon, reopened after a year and a half of construction funded by a package approved by voters in 2018.

The Salem Reporter story highlighted the following: sports medicine program, the video production program, new science rooms, a larger lunchroom, an expanded corridor, and two special education classrooms which took the space of three.

The special education wing has a “life skills” kitchen, and a bathroom with a shower.

Although not specified for special education students, they have a calm room, which is described as a lounge for students in a former classroom. This is not a timeout room, which is used to punish “behavior” of disabled students.

Did the school provide equal facilities?
NO. Special education has a wing which is functionally separate from the rest of the school.

Is this the Least Restrictive Environment?
IDEA requires that disabled students are taught alongside nondisabled students as much as possible. This includes facilities. The Salem Reporter says the high school has a special education wing, which originally had three classrooms but it was reduced to two larger rooms, with a kitchen, which means that “life skills” are separate from the general home economics class.