Excerpt Chapter Three

Excerpt from Chapter Three: Cupcakes, Gifts and Crosses

An Inclusion Strategy Based on Gospel Values

The Cupcake Theory of Fairness


For my 10th birthday, my mom made the most incredible cupcakes and packed one in my lunch. I managed to slip the cupcake out of my Bionic Woman lunch pail and into my desk, so I could nibble on it during class. I was caught by my teacher and her Catholic school, stealth capabilities, as I heard her say, “Miss Wedemeyer, whatever you are eating, you better have brought enough for the whole class.” Of course, I didn’t have enough for everyone in the class, so I had to turn over the half-eaten, most wonderful cupcake, to my teacher.


The Cupcake Theory is a lesson in fairness learned from that cupcake episode. If you are caught having something special, you better find a way for everyone else to have it too, or you will have to give yours up. Everyone gets a cupcake or no one gets a cupcake because that is what’s fair. This outdated concept of fairness, this Cupcake Theory, is haunting us and penalizing students with special needs. When we apply the Cupcake Theory to students with special physical needs, we see how this outdated concept of fairness does not hold up…


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