A Nevada mom is fighting for her son and at least 10 other students after they were left out of their school’s yearbook.
“I got his yearbook and they’re not even mentioned. It’s like they didn’t exist,” Mariela Azarpira told KLAS.
Azarpira’s son, Samir Azarpira, is on the autism spectrum and attends Northwest Career and Technical Academy. She says that Samir along with 10 other classmates who were enrolled in the Program Approach to Career Employment, a program for special education students who previously received an adjusted high school diploma, were not mentioned.
“It’s like for them, they didn’t matter. It wasn’t important for [NWCTA] to recognize them.”
Samir began attending NWCTA after his family moved to Las Vegas from southern California in 2021.
As a 22-year-old enrolled in PACE, a federally funded program, Samir and his fellow classmates learn soft skills to help them find a career. According to KLAS, while at NWCTA Samir would assist teachers and engage in other school-related activities. The program also helped him get a job at the local Goodwill store.
But none of the work he or his other classmates did over the school year was recognized in the yearbook.
The school’s principal Laura Willis apologized to Azarpira via email writing, “It is unfortunate that we failed to represent all that they do and bring to our campus. There are no excuses, just human error. I will ensure that this does not happen in the future.”
She also added that previous editions of the yearbook did not include PACE students. A $90 refund was also offered.
But the principal’s response was not satisfactory.
“I don’t want the money back,” Azarpira said. “I want them to include all the children because it’s so important. Because if the school includes them, all of the parents are going to learn.”
If service dogs are included in yearbooks, than these students should most definitely be included in their school’s yearbook! There’s absolutely no excuse.
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