Ore. 6th grader says he was forced to mow school lawn

PORTLAND, Ore. - A local sixth-grader with special needs was pulled out of class and reportedly forced to mow the school lawn as a punishment.

Alice Ott Middle School student, 11-year-old Kyron Sloan, has ADD, Asperger's and maybe a medical condition, which doctors are still trying to figure out, causing him to sleep.

Sloan's mother, Kristi Sloan-Ceron, said her son's counselor decided his punishment for falling asleep in class should be to mow the lawn. But the counselor never asked her first.

"I'm sleeping in class because I'm really tired in the mornings," Sloan said Monday. "Because I sleep in class I try to keep myself awake, drink water, walk around school (and) stand up. I try everything to keep myself awake."

So his counselor at the Southeast Portland middle school reportedly came up with an unconventional punishment.

"Every morning I get pulled out of my homeroom to go mow the lawn," Sloan said. "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."

"He's 11 years old - a child with a disability - you cannot punish a child for having a disability," said Sloan-Ceron.

His mother just found out this was happening to her son. She said she's especially frustrated because even with an individualized education plan, her son is struggling academically.

"No child should be out mowing the lawn when they're supposed to be inside the classroom getting an education," she said.

Sloan said he feels like he's being bullied.

"I think that's not a punishment. I think that's being a bully," he said.

"I want whoever was involved in this to no longer be teaching," Sloan-Ceron said. "Bullying by children is not allowed in school, and I think that this is bullying by an adult and this is not OK."

Sloan said he's embarrassed and doesn't want to go back to Alice Ott Middle School.

According to the David Douglas School District, this is under investigation and it can't comment.

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