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Bullying and Disabilities

Posted on in Social Security Disability

I drove passed a middle school near my home in Chicago a few days ago and from a distance witnessed what appeared to be two boys picking on a young girl who had her leg in a caste in the school playground area. When I arrived home, I reminisced my childhood middle school years and really wondered how much different it would have been had I had some form of a disability. I thought it was easy to get picked on as a middle schooler even if you were perfectly healthy.

It turns out that over 8/10 disabled children face bullying and different forms of intimidation. In fact, a survey by Mencap of over 500 children with learning disabilities across the United Kingdom revealed that 58% had been physically hurt by bullies. Many of those injured by bullying have been hurt repeatedly for up to three years.

I completely agree with the article Eight Out of Ten Disabled Children Bullied and its call to action from global governments to recognize bullying as a serious form of prejudice. The author of the article, Anthea Lipsett, points out that the government should "be producing guidance for schools, children's service and youth organizations on how to tackle disabled bullying." In other words, next time I drive by the middle school near my home, I could only hope that there is a program in place to educate, control, and hopefully prevent such bullying activity.

One program that has been in place for several years now is the Speak Up campaign in Scottland. The campaign has attempted to educate local schools on how to deal with protecting special needs children from being bullied. Below is one of their videos demonstrating the severity of the bullying of children with special needs that takes place in schools from all over.

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