My kids attend Catholic school.
In so many ways, it is an incredible experience.
They learn about being kind and loving. Academically, they are challenged. They met others who have so much in common with us and make lifelong connections.
But, for years, they missed out on meeting any kids with significant special needs.
This year, that changed. Our school (and some other Catholic schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) are accepting students with special challenges, like autism or dyslexia.
As a mom of an epilepsy kid, I could barely be more excited. Every kid deserves the caliber of education that my kids receive.
(Yes, public school kids do, too, which is why I always vote yes for education funding.)
The Loki won't be alone in having special challenges (though, as a medical challenge, his needs are a little different than academically-challenged or socially-challenged kids.)
But as a mom of a slightly above average, completely "normal" kid (down to his hair, which he prefers to have cut "as boring as possible, please"), I am jumping up and down and singing praises for the school and its students!
My "normal" kid (Ander) was missing out - on helping others, on understanding human struggles and successes, on being empathetic - and now he gets a chance to see kids who aren't just like him. He has the opportunity to become compassionate!
Compassion for others is part of the reason we selected a religious school and it was a part that was missing for a long time. So bravo to the Baton Rouge Diocese for educating all children.
I hope that the Church will decide to go even further and stop charging a surcharge for kids with special needs.
I am willing to put my money where my mouth is and pay a bit more for my own tuition and do more fundraising to get the program costs covered, but I think the value - both to the kids in the program and to my own kid - make it worth bringing costs of the program down for the parents of these special kids.
Do your local private schools accept children with challenges? Do they charge extra?
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