TODAY'S LESSON: WHY INCLUSION?
- JESUS CHIRST AND THE GOSPEL
- RESPECT FOR LIFE
- CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
The Gospel Of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. ~Matthew 25
The life and gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ provides powerful example of His direct personal commitment to the sick, poor and less fortunate. One Classroom joyfully embraces the opportunity to be like Christ and provide for students with significant special needs in full community with their typically developing peers.
Respect For Life
As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace.
Roughly one child in seventy has a significant special need . One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down Syndrome making Down Syndrome the most common genetic condition. Globally, 92% of all prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome result in abortion. The front line in the fight to respect all life is our in backyard. We must welcome children with special needs into our parish Catholic schools.
Catholic Social Teaching
Catholic Social Teaching applies directly to the organization of Catholic schools:
† The intrinsic value of a human person is based on their formation in the image and likeness of God,
not a social contract or utilitarian calculation.
† Human Dignity is relational. The dignity a person has is based on how they are treated relative
† We must extend a preferential option for those individuals that society marginalizes. We must have
a bias in favor of those disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and treated unfairly by systems.
To be truly Catholic our schools must diligently strive to adhere to the fundamental teachings of the Church, and Catholic social teaching unambiguously compels Catholic institutions to treat those on the margins with dignity. Catholic Social Teaching compels Catholic schools to strive to included children with special needs.
There have been countless peer reviewed studies examining inclusive education and traditional segregated or self-contained special education. This large body of research demonstrates that children educated in inclusive environments achieve higher academic gains and achieve more success after high school. There have been no studies since the 1970's showing better outcomes for students with significant disabilities when they are educated in separate classrooms. Research also demonstrates that typical peers also experience improved academic outcomes and social development. Many diocese and parishes around the country have implemented successful programs!