Special needs student left out of high school yearbook

(WTNH)–Diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, Amanda Paeth’s mother says her daughter is beating the odds by graduating on time, getting a job and earning her driver’s license. Getting her high school yearbook should have been a milestone moment but instead it’s been a heartache.

“Right between these students here,” said Jeanine Kremzar, Amanda’s mom, as she pointed out where her daughter’s photo should have appeared in the yearbook.

A senior at Mark T. Sheehan High School, Amanda and her mother said she has been bullied in the past and question whether or not the omission was intentional.

“This is not right. You guys got every other kid but me. I basically gave the teacher my book and I walked out of school. You guys could keep it,” said Amanda.

“She was singled out of a lot of things and she missed out on a lot of things because of it because people just did not understand, administration didn’t understand, peers didn’t understand. Nobody took the time to get to know her,” said Jeannine.

Jeannine says the yearbook is put together by students and checked by faculty.

“How do you miss a student? Of all things, how do you miss a student?” asked Jeannine.

News 8 reached out to the school’s principal who declined to comment on the issue. Calls to the Superintendent’s office were not returned on Monday. Jeannine says 5 days after the issue was first reported she finally got a call from the principal but is not satisfied with the response.

“I don’t think they’ll ever tell me. They just keep saying that it was an honest mistake that they were more concentrating on some of the quotes that were added into the yearbook and getting rid of those and spell checking,” said Jeannine.

The school’s solution was to have Amanda’s photo made into a sticker and placed at the end of the senior photos. As students already have their yearbooks Amanda and her mother question whether or not the fix will be placed in all of them.

While it is unclear at this point if the omission was intentional, Amanda hopes that no one else has to go through what she is.

“We still function like you guys. We still do clubs. We still do sports. We still go to classes like you. We still learn. That’s really it, it’s just that one small thing,” said Amanda.