Part Three: My Real Truth
Unfortunately, Grace had a lonely high school experience. It’s a story that we hear all too often. McFarlane interviews her “one good friend.”
“As Samara tells me about her friendship with Grace, I’m struck by how rare it is for this to happen. I ask her why she did what no one else had done.” P. 74
McFarlane pushes Samara for specifics and theorizes about her answer:
“Is it because she was once forced into the role of the “other” that she is able to see and understand, more than the rest of us, what that role feels like?” P. 74
How was your child’s high school experience? Did she/he have many good friends? What do you think of McFarlane’s theory?
McFarlane gives her opinion of the decision facing parents regarding school placement:
“It can mean, as many parents have discovered, that physical inclusion – being in the same building as students without special needs – is no guarantee of social inclusion. Of belonging. And it can mean that the special needs student is exposed to ridicule or bullying in a regular school that might be less likely to occur in a segregated environment with other needs students.
Many parents, however, are willing to take that risk, if it means their child has a chance to find inclusion at a regular school…” P. 81
Her analysis may lack detail but it’s basically true. Have you ever had to choose between safety and inclusion? How did you react to this passage?