High school students organize inclusion peace rally at city hall

Updated: May. 15, 2021 at 10:08 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Three area high school students came together to organize a peace rally to call for more inclusion in the community for those with disabilities.

It started when Zaylee Bell and her two friends decided to join the Special Olympics Kansas Youth Activation Committee.

“One of our goals is to spread inclusion and unified sports to other schools in our area but when we started we were looking at ours and we were like I don’t know if we can do this if we aren’t doing this ourselves,” said Zaylee Bell.

The group decided to spread awareness not just to local school districts but the whole community.

“Our main goal is to spread the idea of inclusion especially given in our communities, we’ve seen a lot of lack of representation for disabled students and just people in general.”

The three organized a peace rally outside of City Hall, bringing together supporters and several speakers; including representatives from the Capper Foundation, Deputy- Mayor, Mike Padilla and Zaylee herself.

“It hurts to know that the lack of inclusion in community caused me to hate my self so much for something that I cannot control.”

Zaylee has Spina Bifada, a birth defect, that makes it harder for her to get around.

“I want people to take away, I may walk different, I may get around different but I’m not different, I’m just as equal to you and everybody else in this community.”

The group wants to educate the public, schools, and businesses on how to include people of all disabilities.

“More wheelchair ramps, I know a lot of places don’t have those, sometimes in stores, when I was in my wheelchair and it was hard to reach up so something for that and for school unified sports programs because I know that has helped our school a lot and other than that education because education is the main thing that changes that.”

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