The School Newspaper of Shawnee Heights Senior High

The Totem Online

Maneuvering Through Hallway Crowds

Freshman Dezi La Babera and junior Luke Davis share their unique perspective at the high school

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As students walk from class to class many walk with friends or with peers but junior Luke Davis walks with his service dog, Tinley. Davis has had Tinley for seven years. Davis shared that Tinley helps him talk to people. When asked if people ever touch his dog or if it bothers him, Davis politely responds by saying, “when she was training people were suppose to ask me if they could pet her.” Davis also shared that he doesn’t find it hard to get from class to class with Tinley. Davis takes Tinley almost everywhere with him except to lunch and the zoo.

“Lots of new friends,” is how Davis described his high school experience so far.

As students walk from class to class with their friends or dog they all take the same steps down the hall. But what happens when you can’t actually take these steps, what happens when you can’t walk at all? Freshman Dezi La Barbera has a completely different perspective in the hallways than the average Shawnee Heights student. She uses a wheelchair full time and is accompanied by a nurse and a para professional throughout the day.

However, when asked what she wants everyone at school to know, she says “I’m just like everybody else, just because I can’t move my arms and legs that [doesn’t mean] I can’t do something that everybody else can I just have to find a different way to do it. I’ve been looking for a friend for a long time, people are scared to go up to me and talked to because they think that I would get offended if they say something wrong, but I don’t get offended and if I do I won’t say anything.”  La Barbera is enrolled in standard freshman classes including her favorite, German and AP Geography. While at school she says she just wants to get involved and she is in international club, and Junior Civitan as the freshman spokesperson.

      La Barbera had no difficulties getting involved, but says she does struggle getting to class in the hallways. Navigating a wheelchair through the crowded space is unimaginably difficult. La Barbera has the same amount of time to get to class as any other student, yet is late to class consistently due to the time it takes to weave around other kids.

“I let people go by me and it never stops so then by the time I get to class I’m late. I try to go in front of people and pass them but then I feel really bad,” La Barbera says.

The considerosity from La Barbera doesn’t stop there. During lunch, she shared that she grabs the first thing she sees so she can get out of the way and let others get their food. img_9938Bradyn Smithimg_1003

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The School Newspaper of Shawnee Heights Senior High
Maneuvering Through Hallway Crowds