Meeting a Special Freshman

Meeting a Special Freshman

By DJ Johnson

Students go through the day as everyday people.

But some of those people might have difficulties they have to deal with. 

Like Hailey Davis, a 15-year-old freshman. 

She is in the special education class because of her speaking ability. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t like all of her peers.

Student smiling
Freshman Hailey Davis. (Photo by DJ Johnson)

She plays baseball like other kids.

“My hobby is baseball but I only do it in the summer,” Hailey said. “l do pitch, bat — pretty much everything because we take turns so I don’t have a main position l do.”

She also can’t wait until school is over so she has more free time to do other things. Other than her speech she can do a lot.

Even her teacher loves having her.

“She is very good at following directions and doing all the assignments and everything we ask her to do and is a really fun kid to be around,” says Mr. Shane Conley, Hailey’s social studies and math teacher for the special education classroom.

In Mr. Conley and Mr. Tyler Harris’s class there are 10 students and three of those students are freshmen this year.  

One of the biggest differences about the special education classroom is the diploma they receive at the end of their senior year.

They get what is called an alternate diploma instead of a general  diploma. They are similar but also different.

“The reason for this alternate diploma is we have some students who need more help than others academically but are very capable of doing tasks that anyone can do in the workforce,” Conley said. 

Having this diploma also tells employers that this person has or had difficulties but they have done everything they can to be able to get a job or live their life in the outside world on their own.

Having this alternate diploma might take away some good opportunities for the kids such as some college and jobs.

Class photo
Several students in Mr. Harris and Mr. Conley’s classrooms pose for a fun group photo. (Photo by DJ Johnson)

But it does leave them with more job and educational opportunities than what there were before. 

Some students don’t ever notice the special educational group here at Delta. 

And the students in that area just want to be treated like any other student. Even by saying hello or hi or hey can make a big difference in their experience here.

 Like Stuart Duncan, the creator of Autcraft, said:  

 “ It’s not a disability, it’s a different ability.”






December 15, 2023

About Author

DJ Johnson

djjohnson DJ is a freshmen who is a first-time journalist at Delta High School and who wants to be a welder.


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