LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A group of special education students did not appear on any pages of a northwest valley high school’s yearbook, sparking outrage among some families, including a mom who is calling out the school for the exclusion.

“I got his yearbook and they’re not even mentioned. It’s like they didn’t exist,” Mariela Azarpira said.

Her son Samir Azarpira is on the autism spectrum and is a student at Northwest Career and Technical Academy.

When his mom purchased the yearbook and began flipping through the pages, she said it brought her pain rather than joy.

“It’s like for them, they didn’t matter. It wasn’t important for [NWCTA] to recognize them,” Mariela Azarpira said in tears.

Samir began attending Northwest Career and Tech Academy in 2021 after the family moved from southern California.

He’s enrolled in PACE, which stands for Program Approach to Career Employment. It’s a federally funded program.

According to the Clark County School District, students with disabilities who have obtained an adjusted diploma and want to find a job can learn soft skills to make them ready for a career.

“They’re 22 years old, that’s it. They’re done with school. [NWCTA] didn’t do anything for memory, for me, for us to have,” Azarpira said crying.

Azarpira said Samir’s class has about 10 special needs students, and not one of them was included in the yearbook.

Although Samir is 22 years old, his mom said he doesn’t function as an adult.

During the school year, Samir and his classmates would bring teachers coffee at NWCTA and engage in other school-related activities. The magnet school also helped him get a job at the Goodwill store.

These are events that aren’t reflected in the yearbook, and Azarpira said the school could’ve at the very least dedicated half a page.

“I don’t want the money back. 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,” Azarpira said.

She added, “They need to be included. They matter too.”

In an email sent to Azapira, the principal of Northwest Career and Tech Academy Laura Willis offered her deepest apology, saying it was a human error. She proposed giving Azarpira a refund, which was declined.

Willis also wrote to Azarpira that they have never included PACE students in their yearbooks since the program started, but will change that moving forward.