Patrick’s Inclusion Journey


Be A Fan -- end the word

Be A Fan — end the word


Today, March 4th, marks the day to “End the Word”.  This is a world-wide effort to stop using the word “retard” as a pejorative.  I’ve worn my t-shirt with this logo for five years.  If I were a classroom teacher, these would be my classroom rules.  If you have these five qualities going on in your classroom, you have a community of learners without doubt.

I don’t believe in accidents.

I don’t believe in strange coincidences or random connections.

And tonight it just makes crazy cosmic sense that this would be the night that Cheri finished, edited, polished and perfected the video she has been making about Patrick’s journey with inclusion for so long.

I couldn’t have written the script with a better climax.

What is so special about this website is that so many people with so much expertise and talent have contributed to it.

The professors with all of their educational research.

LeeAnn — whose own child has been denied entry to Catholic school — patiently sifted through gobs and gobs of data on the internet to provide just the right sources and research and quotes and inspiration.

The many, many parents who have shared photos and stories…and hopes and dreams.

Julie — our incredible web designer is a parent at St. James School and clearly one hell of a web developer. This beautiful, gorgeous website has her heart prints all over it.

And now dear Cheri — professional journalist and also a parent at St. James School. We asked her to tackle this project and she has put her heart and soul and told the story so well that I am simply speechless.  It is our hope that her video (posted up above at the very top) will provide inspiration and understanding…that it will nudge — heck, let’s be honest we hope it fully pushes you over the cliff of Maybe, Let’s Think About It and toward the fertile plains of Let’s Get This Done.

There are 30+ years of educational research that support the positive impact of inclusion for ALL children.

But there is also the intangible.  The sorts of moments that can’t be counted, collected or turned into bar graphs.

The video is meant to capture that magic.

It’s meant to offer hope.




Thank you so very much to each of you out there who have made this a reality. What transpired at St. James School wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t without difficulty or moments of squishy discomfort.

But it was worth it.

So very worth it.

I beg you to open your hearts and your minds to the idea of inclusion in Catholic schools.