Excluded

Today Chloe came home early from school because she wasn’t feeling well.  Since she was home early, she was in the car with me when I picked Zippy up from school.  And since Texas’ temperatures have fallen out of the triple digits this week, I had the van windows down while we waited.

Right around 3, all the 3rd graders at this, our neighborhood elementary school, paraded past our van.  For those of you who don’t know, Chloe should have been one of those 3rd graders, but Chloe was not allowed to attend this school this year because of her disabilities.  All the 3rd graders walking past Chloe’s window knew Chloe; they liked and missed Chloe.  One by one, the children slowed their pace and greeted Chloe by name through her open window.

There was a chorus of “Hi, Chloe!”      “Hi, Chloe!”

Chloe silently waved at her friends as they passed by.

Several of the children slowed and stared at Chloe as they were surprised to be seeing her.  “Chloe!” was repeated a dozen times.

It was odd to see their initial excitement at seeing their friend turn quickly to questions as they wondered why they hadn’t seen her this year.  I’m sure they wondered why she was there  . . . and not here with them.

It was another painful and pathetic experience.  I choked back tears, wondering what Chloe and the other children were thinking.

“The difference between children with disabilities and children without disabilities has very little to do with the children but, instead, has to do with the way adults react to them.”           ~ John Hockenberry ~ 

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Breaks my heart.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Tammie on September 23, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    Doesn’t sound like her friends have excluded her! What a great gift she gave to them, and they gave to her. No one can take that friendship from either of them. We could certainly learn from our children =)

    Reply

    • You’re right, Tammie! Very well said! Her friends have NOT excluded her. They, like Chloe, are victims of policies based on prejudice and are removed from one of their friends because of it. Yes, I do wish we would all learn from those children!

      Reply

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