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Parents battle school board over new special needs classrooms

ENCINITAS, Calif. -- Protesters gathered at the San Dieguito School District headquarters on Thursday to confront administrators over the disparity between classrooms at the newly built Earl Warren Jr. High and the Adult Transitional Program, known as ATP.

“They told us we would have a state of the art facility, and all we ended up with was two portable trailers with practically no windows,” said Lucile Lynch, a mother of a special needs student.

Parents of special needs students say juxtaposition between the two campuses is the way they’ve felt for years.

“It says to us that we don’t matter, that we are something that should be hidden away,” said another parent.

“I think it's awful. I think there should be more room in the classroom for the ATP students,” said Conor Lynch, a student in the program.

Parents were frustrated that the classrooms have very little natural light and complained that the special needs students will now be in an area of campus with kids that aren’t close to their own age.

District Superintendent Eric Dill said he understands that parents are frustrated with the current design, but said it's better than any program they’ve had in the past.

“Before, these students would use the old facilities that were just normal classrooms. These new classrooms were built with the students needs in mind,” said Dill.

The superintendent also said he’s looking into add a few windows to capture some more natural light.