Moment at Parma High School pep rally shows power of inclusion

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PARMA, Ohio-- A high school pep rally sparked a series of heartwarming moments in Parma, thanks to several students who made sure their schoolmate with special needs was not left out of the homecoming weekend festivities.

When Parma Senior High School senior Jayson Chambers saw Peter Kordahi, a special education student dancing alone at the pep rally, he decided to join him. Soon after, other students rushed onto the floor to dance too.

The moment captured on video is rapidly gaining attention on social media.

"Everybody deserves to be treated normal,"  Chambers said. "Nobody is different."

"There's cruel people out in the world, and it's good to see people come together and be friends," said Kylie Kurka, who recorded the video.

The moment sparked several more as other students included Peter in homecoming activities.

"It was a great moment and then it carried on into the homecoming dance Saturday night," said principal Bridget Zywiec. "One of our other seniors asked him to the homecoming dance, which was a very nice for her to include him in these moments of high school."

Peter, 20 is a part of the Parma Area Center for Transition Services or PACTS. The program, according to Zywiec, is for students with special needs who have fulfilled their high school credit requirements.

Zywiec said students with special needs can attend the program until they are 22 years old. The goal of PACTS is to provide an opportunity to learn skills that can be useful in the workforce.

For Jayson, the video with Peter is a reminder about the power of an embrace and it's ability to pull someone off the sidelines and into the circle of friendship.

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