STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES PRONE TO BULLYING
It is an unfortunate reality that, even with an emphasis on respecting and appreciating one another’s differences, kids in Mobile, Alabama, who are perceived as different or as weak are often the targets of bullying. In particular, students who have diagnosed disabilities report bullying at a relatively high frequency.
What is interesting is that the prevalence of bullying depends also on the type of a disability with which a child suffers. For example, among students who have a learning disability, 19% report getting bullied. Those who have physical problems or some broader intellectual difficulties report bullying at a rate of about 21% and of under 25%, respectively.
It seems that children who already are struggling with emotional or behavioral problems face bullying most frequently among those students who have disabilities. For example, those with emotional and behavioral problems report bullying at a rate of around 35%, or over one-third of the time. Children who are on the autism spectrum report bullying at a rate of 34%.
In any event though, all students with any type of disability reported bullying that took place more frequently, and more consistently, than did other students. These students did not feel as safe in a school environment as did their peers.
Sadly, the data also suggests that teachers and other adults who are in the position to protect these children tend to ignore or take their pleas for help too lightly. Children who are receiving special education services are warned against tattling at a rate almost double that of their peers who are not in special education.
As this blog has reported before, schools in Mobile have an obligation to protect children from bullying, and parents and students may have specific legal options available to them.