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Back Then

Tuesday September 8th, 2015
Back Then

Back Then

Tuesday September 8th, 2015 / 0 Comments

As everyone returns to school, we must remember that many schools are not inclusive and do not open their doors for children with disabilities.

Please read this wonderful poem composed by 13 year old Kate Meredith about the potential for inclusive schools. Below the poem is the reason behind its writing (beneath the poem’s text).

[bctt tweet=”Are school’s today more inclusive than in the past? Read this poem by a 13 year old and decide.”]

Back then, there were no inclusive schools. Today the situation is better but more needs to be done.

2015 © Kate Meredith (

The poem reads:

I look to the past
and say with a grin
“I’m glad we are now
and not way back then.”

I see all the wars
and say without care,
“I’m so glad we’ re here,
and not way out there.”

I watch the seclusion
and say, “It’s okay,
it doesn’t happen here,
in the USA.”

But look around
and you will see,
Not one of these happen,
but rather all three.

There are things in the past
that yet still linger,
but most do not care,
and don’t lift a finger.

There’s a war under wraps
that most cannot see,
but look out, it’s happening
in your community.

We know that seclusion
is not ever right,
but few are soldiers in the
local separation fight.

MLK Jr.’s dream was
for all to hold hands
but some are restrained
by society’s bands.

Am I talking for
those black and those white?
No, but rather those that
were born “not quite right.”

Down Syndrome, Asperger’s,
Autism and more.
We separate them from us,
We close the door.

So look, observe and say, 
“Hey, this isn’t cool.”
Who knows? It just might be 
happening in your school.

About the author:

My name is Kate Meredith, and I’m 13-years-old. I became interested in disability rights because my 15-year-old brother, Andy, has Down syndrome. The reason I wrote this poem is because a little girl with Down syndrome and her family came over to our house to get advice because the school insisted that she needed to be in a self-contained classroom for Kindergarten. Though everybody has a right to be included, she was even already reading sight word books, but the school still demanded that she be put in a secluded classroom. I was upset about this injustice, because Andy had always been included in typical classrooms (with extra help) so he could learn with his friends. Because of that, he has lots of friends to look out for him, and I think they will be more sensitive to people with disabilities. So, when the Young Author’s Fair came around in my school, I wanted to write something I was passionate about, so I chose inclusion. I wanted to show schools that they should include the children with disabilities more — at lunch, in the classroom, on the playground, everywhere.

Kate also illustrates sight word books for new readers. The e-books are based on books she illustrated for her brother when he was learning to read.



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