by Aimee Lewis
“Don’t discriminate against people with disabilities, because everyone has one,” is the motto for the KTB/SOS (Knock The Barriers/Special Olympic Supporters) club at Reedley High School.
This club shows the importance of equality among the students of RHS, and the disabled. Among the many things that we participate in, our main activities are for the kids, such as the Special Olympics. Reedley High students take time out of their school day to volunteer to help with the kids, such as scoring them and cheering them on while they play.
As the president of KTB/SOS, a teacher’s aide for one of the classes, I am very close to the special needs students in the club, and I can honestly say that these kids are some of my very good friends. Contrary to popular belief, these kids are very much like us. They have the same feelings, the same emotions. People who do not spend very much time around them may treat them differently because they do not know exactly how to act around them. I know this from experience. When I first joined KTB/SOS, I felt very awkward around the students. But once you get to know them, you soon realize that these kids are not really that different from us. When I’m having a bad day, I go into their class during third period and my day instantly gets better because of the way these kids are, happy and carefree. Going to the class is definitely one of the highlights of my day.The special needs program isn’t just the club, but it is also a class on campus. Though technically it isn’t actually a part of Reedley High, but of Monte Vista, their rules mainly come from Reedley High. I am the teacher’s aide for one of the classes on campus and I help Mrs. Rincon, Mrs. Alice, and Mrs. Tracy with the kids almost every day.
All three of these teachers have inspired both the disabled students and the students at RHS. I know they have definitely inspired me to be a better student and to believe even more in equality than ever.
As a former Reedley High student, KTB/SOS Student Representative, and former teacher’s aide for the special needs class, Antonio Sandoval stated, “It’s amazing. I love what it and the students that get involved do, but it is a club that is under appreciated by students, the staff, and the school board, and should be paid more attention.”
“These kids are so wonderful to be with because they remind me that there is still good in the world,” said Jesikah Chafa, a senior at RHS and also the present Vice President of KTB/SOS. “They love people for who they are, and they love you regardless.”
Another former RHS student and president of KTB/SOS, Kourtney Dyer, shared her feelings about her time with the club. “Every time I walked into room 402, an instant smile came to my face. KTB is a great way to form life long friendships. The people you interact with will make a lasting impact in your life and stay in your heart forever.”