FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LAGUNA BEACH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
CONTACT: ANAKAREN URENO
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS & RELATIONS LIAISON
(949) 497-7770 EXT. 5317 | AURENO@LBUSD.ORG
October 16, 2017
El Morro Elementary School Celebrates People With Disabilities During Respect-ABILITY Month
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. – Throughout the entire month of October, El Morro Elementary will celebrate disabilities in an effort to educate the school community about the value of a diverse and inclusive campus that supports all students regardless of individual differences.
Together, the El Morro Character Counts Crew and Ability Awareness parent volunteers organized a month filled with guest speakers, special events, and assemblies that create an environment where students, teachers, staff, and community members are provided with an opportunity to look beyond any physical or hidden challenges that a person might have.
“My goal for El Morro Elementary School is to create a school culture of respect, inclusion, and acceptance,” said Chris Duddy, principal at El Morro.
Events include a respectability assembly and a day of unity on National Anti-Bullying Day with the entire campus community invited to wear orange.
“As much as we like to believe that we live in a society that is accepting of those with different abilities, that isn't always the case. I know this firsthand because I'm the mother of a special needs child. My daughter has autism and simple things that most people take for granted, like going grocery shopping or playing at a park, can be tremendously overwhelming for us,” said Alicia Glass, El Morro PTA Special Education Liaison. She added, “Special needs families are unbelievably strong; we can handle the public meltdowns and aggression with grace, but you never truly get used to the stares or rude comments. For this reason, I developed the concept for Respect-Ability Month. It is my hope that if we can educate children, parents, and teachers on, not only what these different conditions look like, but how to best approach and assist those with different abilities, that perhaps one day families like mine will be able to take our children out in public or send them to school without fear of judgment.”
In support of this effort, the Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education approved Resolution 17-21, Support for National Bullying Prevention Month, to help align El Morro’s character counts pillar of respect with October’s National Bullying Prevention Month.