By Sydney Thiroux, Whittier College
Letter to the LAUSD Board of Education:
Hello, my name is Sydney Thiroux. I recently graduated from Granada Hills Charter High School, and during my four years there I noticed that the students in the special education program were never properly integrated into the school community. Special education is an issue that is very important to me because my two sisters are on the autism spectrum, and it breaks my heart when people on the autism spectrum do not receive the respect and services they deserve. From my understanding, Granada's special day class was in a small classroom secluded from the rest of the school. They have their own set of lunch tables that are gated off. Many of my peers hardly knew that our school had a special education class! Because of their status as a charter school, Granada glorifies academic prestige to the point of neglecting the needs of special education students. I feel that there is more that needs to be done so that students on the autism spectrum (and students with other disabilities) are accepted for their differences and are well-prepared for life after high school.