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Fifth-Graders Fight to Attend Same School as Friend with Down Syndrome

The Short of It

When the friends of an 11-year-old boy with Down syndrome were told that he wasn't going to be allowed to attend the same middle school as them in the fall, they decided to do something about it.

The Lowdown

Brady Green is a fifth-grade student with Down syndrome who lives in Colorado, and he was recently told that he couldn't attend middle school with his friends. Apparently, after the elementary level, kids like Brady, who have individualized education programs (IEPs), are funneled to a different school, where they are segregated from the other students.

This was unacceptable to both Brady and his friends. So, according to ABC News, they all decided to band together and go to a school board meeting to put up a fight.

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"He lights up the room whenever he's around; he helps people when they're down; and he makes us laugh. To me, it seems unfair," Brady's friend Ella reportedly told those in attendance. "If we are allowed to choose what middle school we go to, why isn't Brady allowed to? Just because he has a disability does not mean he is different than us."

"I'm in the same class as Brady," added a 10-year-old named Storm. "He's changed the whole atmosphere of the school [since he arrived two years ago]. He makes it much better, much more fun to go to school. Why can't he choice into middle school? He has one extra chromosome and that doesn't really mean anything."

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The board meeting took place last month, and the final decision about Brady's placement was made two weeks later—he will now get to attend middle school with his friends!

The Upshot

This is an amazing example of the power of teamwork and of standing up for what you believe in. What an incredible group of kids!

" They gave a very effective presentation," Cathy Kipp, president of the Poudre School District Board of Education, told ABC News. "Brady was awesome, and his friends are amazing advocates for him."

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In fact, they also nominated Brady for the school's SOAR (Spirit Outstanding Attitude Respect) award, which he won and will be honored with at graduation. But Brady is just happy that he gets to stay with his friends.

"We were driving by the middle school, and I told Brady that's where he was going to school next year," his mom Tena told ABC News.

"Me?" he asked his mom. "My friends, too?"

He was thrilled, Tena said, when she gave him her answer: "Yes."

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