It is a big problem at many schools: bullying. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for special needs students to be the target of bullying. Any student can be profoundly impacted by being exposed to this behavior. However, children with disabilities may respond differently to bullying than other students.
Take a recent study for example. The study analyzed survey responses to look into the impacts of bullying on middle and high school students who have disabilities. The study found that these students were more likely to respond to bullying in an aggressive fashion, such as with physical aggression. The study further found that it is not uncommon for such a response by students with disabilities to be directed towards individuals beyond just the ones who were bullying them.
The study’s leader has suggested that this may be due to some special needs students lacking the skills needed to have alternatives to aggressive action readily accessible when faced with bullying.
What do you think are some of the best ways schools could help such students develop tools to help them respond to difficult situations such as bullying? In your opinion, what should schools be doing to help prevent the bullying of students with special needs?
As this study underscores, a special needs student acting out aggressively at school can be a complex situation that could involve a variety of factors, such as the student having been bullied. So, one hopes that, when a school is considering what disciplinary response to take in regards to aggressive actions taken by a student with disabilities, it properly takes the surrounding circumstances into account when deciding what response would be fair.
Like any student, special needs students deserve to be treated fairly in school disciplinary matters. Skilled attorneys can help parents of students with disabilities with fighting for fair treatment for their child when it comes to school disciplinary matters involving their child.
Source: Disability Scoop, “Bullying Often Triggers Fight Response In Kids With Disabilities,” Michelle Diament, Oct. 11, 2016