Inclusion. Why is this so hard?

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While scrolling through Facebook last night I saw this story several times.

with this picture:

 inclusion 1



 This is a school class picture. This is wrong.  Period. The boy on the end that is separated from his class is a 7 year old named Miles.

How could the photographer not see how wrong this is?

I asked Peanut (age 6) last night what was wrong with this picture.  He said their faces are all missing.  I told him he was right and asked what else was wrong with it.  He said “that boy (pointing to Miles) wants to be with his friends”.  Well there you have it folks.  Simple as pie, right? So why is this so hard for the rest of the world?

I think this picture is a really good indicator of what is wrong with American schools.  If your kids is typically abled and willing to fit into the school district’s pegs than your child will do fine.  However, if your child is differently abled or a square peg then that child is often excluded.

I firmly believe in inclusion.  I believed in inclusion before Froggie was born.  Peanut goes to a charter school that is 20% differently abled and 80% typical.  We are very fortunate that Froggie will go there in Kindergarten because of sibling preference. Bug goes to a regular neighborhood school where most the kids look and act typical.  You would never know there is special day class on campus, a room where they put children who have different abilities.  Bug attended this school since 1st grade.  I never even knew they were there until the end of 3rd grade.  Never saw them.  Bug didn’t know this class existed either.  So clearly these kids are not being included at all.

I learned of their existence on this campus when there was an award ceremony and a girl from this class received an award with some of the other 3rd graders.  She came in separate, sat separate, received her award separately and left the ceremony early.  It was clear to all the parents there that something was different about this girl.  The parents even discussed it among themselves wondering what class she was from and why she was treated differently.

We have a long way to go towards equality in this country.  Just recently a young man named Ethan was murdered.  The coroner declared it murder but there is no investigation.  Why? Many feel this is because Ethan had Down syndrome.  The implication is that Ethan’s life has less value than someone with typical abilities. How is this even remotely okay? If you want to know about Ethan you can look HERE.

Another Mom wrote a blog post suggesting that parents of kids with typical abilities request that the school put differently abled children in class with their typical children.  I think this is a great idea and challenge you to do this!  Check out this blog post about this idea:





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4 Responses to “Inclusion. Why is this so hard?”

  1. Heather Says:

    We haven’t had experience with inclusion yet since our son with Ds is just a baby, but I have a notion that my daughter’s school will be perfect for him. Another parent told me this story:
    A mother of a child with autism spoke with our principle. She asked him what he would do if a typical child’s parent requested that the children with autism NOT be included in the classrooms. Our principle replied “I would inform them that Holt Elementary is probably not the best school for their child.”

    That’s what he would tell the typical child’s parent! In other words, he believes in inclusion. My daughter’s class this year had two children who were deaf. It was a fabulous learning opportunity for her. She ended being close friends with one of them and learning a lot of sign language.

  2. Lisa Carey Says:

    That sounds great! Kids should be around and learn from all types of people.

  3. Christine Says:

    YES we DO have a LONG LONG way to go in this country. We’re making strides, but they are hard won.

    Honestly, though, when I look at this pic, I am just happy he is IN IT!! I’m guessing a few years ago, he wouldn’t even be in the picture. 🙁 Yes, though, he should be CLOSER, I agree.

  4. Eco Fabulous Family » Blog Archive They took a great new photo! » Eco Fabulous Family Says:

    […] horrible school photo I wrote about has been re-taken.  I LOVE the new photo and applaud the photography company and […]

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