Including special needs students has evolved


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Kids with disabilities such as autism and Down syndrome are often outcasted in schools and in society. In some schools, students with disabilities are pushed to the furthest corners of the campus, but not at PHS.

Since it opened in 2007, PHS has made a concerted effort to include its special needs students into classes or clubs where they are treated as equals to the typical students.

Senior Fletcher Jones is in Student Council and Junior Alyssa Uzueta is in culinary. These students are in regular classes just like many other kids where they are treated like equals. They have had to adapt to a new environment, but special needs student like them fit in right here on campus.

Uzueta is a ray of sunshine right when she enters the door to culinary class. She always has a huge smile on her face and is open to learn new things. She has made new friends and enjoys getting to learn new life skills. Uzuetas teacher Mrs.Albornoz says, “I enjoy it because by the end of the year I get to see these kids with improved life skills.”

Jones is always at his happiest when he gets to go to student council. He has made many new friends and enjoys receiving the spotlight student council brings to him. Jones’ student council teacher Lerina Johnson said, “ I look at inclusion as one race and it is the human race and that the more we can do to include everyone the better place Perry High School is.” Jones is included in many school activities outside the classroom. Alongside STUGO, he has been part of the drama departments plays, Puma pals, and Unified sports.

These students are included by some people but others are not as accepting. Just because they are unique does not mean that they do not have feelings or basic emotions. Just because they are different doesn’t mean that the are no longer human. Just because they do not react when people are picking on them does not mean that they do not know when they are being picked on. The kids are smart if not smarter than a typical student. The kids have things that they are passionate about just like any regular student.  They have interests just like a typical student. These kids have feelings and want to be accepted in society just like anyone else does.


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