Bullying in schools is a major topic of discussion right now. Bullying children with disabilities is especially prevalent. At Our Ability, we are helping by answering questions about bullying in school speeches and creating a PSA we are producing for television.
At every speech I give, a child always asks if I was bullied. Are they really asking for help with that question? I am sad each time I hear that because children mask their own struggles in the questions they ask adults. I was bullied, sure. Picked on, teased... you know the drill. But I made sure to surround myself with friends and family as much as possible. There is certainly information about bullying for kids in schools, but not much as it relates to children with disabilities.
Last week, I spoke to students at Commack Middle School in Long Island. Three different children in three different grades asked questions about bullying. It is right there in front of all of our children.
What is bullying? A way to try and compensate for a lack of understanding due to diversity/differences. It's acting out with prejudicial malice. Physical and emotional harassment.
We all need to help. The Weinstein Company's "Bullying" movie will help. Schools need to keep addressing the subject. Parents need to be asking children about their daily life. Parents need to have their children see this film. Kids need to speak up. Kids also need to stand up against bullying. If you see someone being picked on, tell someone. Stand up for those who need it. Isn't that what we would all want if it was our child?