I recall this one particular conversation that occurred on June 22, 2006. I was a seventh grader and it was the last day of school. No actual classes were held, just homeroom, or advisory as it was called. I went to my advisory and my aide leaves me in my wheelchair and I go hang with my ‘friends’; four 8th graders and one 6th grader. They decide to start a game of Slapjack and I ask to join the game. They say I can after they finish Round One. O.K., no problem. Round Two, they left me out again. I was furious.
We then went to two award assemblies; one hosted by school administration and one by our teachers. I didn’t get any awards at the first assembly, but at the second one, I got three or four awards from my teachers.
When I got back to advisory, something peculiar happened.
“Oh guys, we’re going to high school!” exclaimed one of the eighth grade girls.
“I know,” replied a sixth grader.
Three other eighth grade girls joined the conversation and the eighth grade guy joined them.
“Hey, you ready for high school?” a girl asked the guy.
The guy muttered something and the girls laughed.
I was infuriated that these people left me out of the conversation. The eighth graders included a sixth grader in the conversation and excluded me because of my disability. It engraved an everlasting memory in my heart.