Bullying: A Big Complicated Problem with Many Simple Solutions

If each one of us untangled one string at a time...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bullying Makes Kids Feel Desperate

An eight-year-old boy jumped out of a second story window at his school this past week because of bullying. Eight.

He was repeatedly teased. Told over and over again that he was stupid. He is dyslexic.

The last straw was when a few other kids pulled down his pants. How demeaning. Hard to imagine the embarrassment he felt.

And check this out. He was asked by the school to sign a "no suicide" contract. What??????? He's in elementary school!!!!! And how does that help any child at any age anyway?

What can we learn from this? Kids with disabilities such as dyslexia, Asperger's or other challenges have it extra hard in school. In trying to get a "normal" education, they are being ostracized, teased, and made to feel different. It's not a question of mainstreaming kids, it's a question of awareness and compassion in education.

Teach tolerance at home. As parents, we have to stick up for other parents who have children with struggles. Insist that your children and their classrooms are tolerant. It shouldn't all be on the shoulders of the poor parents whose children are vulnerable. Stand up for them. Let them feel your support.

The fact that struggling kids are fair game among school bullies is the elephant in the room. Don't turn the other way.

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