Bullitt East Challenging the Meaning of Diversity


Haylie Lewis interacting with Cameron White during their adaptive PE class.

Ella Olds and Katey Goins

Bullitt East treats diversity as a whole instead of targeting one audience. When one thinks of diversity their mind is typically drawn to religion or race. However, diversity is much more complex than only those two aspects. One aspect that is often overlooked is those with disabilities. At Bullitt East everybody takes the extra steps to make the school environment all inclusive, acknowledging all aspects of diversity.

At any school there are students with minor to major learning disabilities but not all schools have the programs to accommodate these students. Bullitt East has the ability to adhere to their needs. In our collaborative teaching department, we have 13 teachers overall who specialize in working with students who need extra assistance. This group of teachers may be in regular classroom settings working one on one with students that have minor learning disabilities or they have their own classroom where they teach and work with the students who have more elaborate disabilities and require more individual assistance.  

Tiffany Darnell, one of the teachers in the collaborative department, has her own classroom and works with the students as a whole to teach them more than their core content. Darnell works with them to ensure they are prepared for future situations, teaching them essential life skills. Outside of Darnells classroom, they integrate their core classes. Adaptive PE and Music Alive are apart of their everyday schedules, resembling a typical PE and music class anybody can take, but are also open to any student at Bullitt East who wants to participate alongside them.  David Boyer, one of Darnells students, participates in our Law Enforcement Career Pathway, where he attends his seventh period. 

 Project Unify is a club dedicated to supporting students with special needs. Darnell implemented Project Unify at Bullitt East. Katie Hoben, an assistant basketball coach, works directly with Project Unify as well and has everybody on the girls basketball team engaged in the club. Anybody can join the club and participate in the activities, such as the polar plunge fundraiser, project unify prom, and school field trips. Last year, Bullitt East held a community wide event where the project unify club played basketball against corresponding clubs in the community. Fern Creek High School was invited to be involved in the first basketball game where students had time during the school day to watch the game. It gained so much support from students and staff that it became a regular thing and project unify played other schools continuously, following the initial game. The dedication from hosting a school wide event completely inspired by these students at Bullitt East and those in our community was recognized by ESPN. ESPN awarded our school as one of the top five unified schools in the nation. Oct. 31, ESPN is coming to present Bullitt East a banner and will be broadcasted on national television.