Every year during the first week of December, the Inclusive Schools Network promotes National Inclusive Schools Week. I want to commend SFUSD parents and administrators for bringing this year’s commemoration to the highest level yet. Schools across the district are holding inclusion awareness events, panel discussions, and even movie viewings (“Including Samuel” by photojournalist Dan Habib is a must-see; also I am a fan of the harder-to-find but still relevant “Song of Our Children” — every year I think I am going to organize a double-feature of these two films and never quite get around to it). On the district web site, there is a lovely article by SFUSD parent Audrey Vernick — an excerpt is below (but please read the whole thing!):
Inclusive schools foster the building of an inclusive society. Our children are teaching us how to be more accepting, in spite of the experiences we may have had growing up in a more segregated society. Almost everyone will have some form of a disability at some point in his or her life, whether they are born with it, have an accident, or develop it in the natural process of aging. It’s important that young people are raised to accept others despite their challenges.
On Thursday at noon, the Mayor will issue a proclamation in support of inclusive schools on the steps of City Hall. Please join us to be part of this district-wide celebration. SFUSD still has a long way to go to be truly inclusive, but we are making progress every day. My heartfelt thanks to the parents, teachers and students who are helping us get there.