Special Needs Children and Adults: Why They Suffer Such High Rates of Bullying

cute girl in wheelchair playing with developing toy in kindergarten for children with special needs

People with autism and other neurological disorders suffer extremely high rates of victimization and bullying.

It’s bad enough that they must go through life struggling with a disability that they neither asked for nor have any control over. Even worse, they also struggle with constant cruelty from people in the general population because of that disability.

“A new study finds that children with autism spectrum disorders are bullied for more often than their typically developing peers.” (healthland.time.com)

According to Time Magazine (the above link), 46% of children on the spectrum reported being bullied compared to only 10% of neurotypical kids.

And the statistics are estimated to be even higher due to either being nonverbal and the inability to read social cues and, therefore, recognize the subtler forms of abuse. No one can report anything they do not know is occurring.

Because of their difficulty reading social cues, having repetitive behaviors, and being highly sensitive to external stimuli, bullies quickly zero in on these perceived weaknesses and see these people as easy prey who are ripe for harassment and degradation. Those with special needs are targeted because of their extreme vulnerability and inability to assert and defend themselves. In the minds of bullies, people with special needs are easy prey.

Special education words on cork background

Bullies get a rush out of the power they wield over their special needs victims because they consciously know they can torment them endlessly and with impunity. They also know that the chances are that no one will stop the abuse nor speak out for the victim because the sad reality is that most others do not see those who have special needs as “human.” Therefore, bullies take full advantage.

Anyone who intentionally targets a person with special needs is, in my opinion, a coward of the lowest common denominator. Too afraid to go toe to toe with someone of their equal, they seek out victims who cannot speak for or defend themselves!

Every day, mentally disabled people have Autism/Asperger’s or Down’s Syndrome are accosted, taunted, physically attacked, or even murdered because they are considered different and to be easy targets. Laws must be firmly put in place to protect these people, who are unable to defend themselves. Any crime against people in the above categories should be considered a hate crime because of the high vulnerability and severe disadvantage compared to neurotypical people, which equals a clear-cut imbalance of power.

It’s discrimination, any way you look at it, and just as horrible as bullying someone due to age, sex, race, religion, or orientation. Besides, most people in the other five groups have the facilities to speak for and defend themselves. They can demand equal treatment. People with special needs can’t, which is why we MUST make those with special needs a protected group!

The neurologically challenged are already fighting a very tough and likely, lifelong battle. Why do those who are more fortunate wish to make their lives much more complicated than they already are?

With knowledge comes empowerment!

“Kids Under the Latch Key” Fiction About Bullying of the Mentally Handicapped

Chapter 1: Memory Lane

“Max and I grew up in this house. Lord, how it has gone down since we left!” I told my children.

“It’s a shame how people have neglected this place.” My son, Kevin, who sat in the passenger seat, remarked. I could not help but to agree with him.

“You know, I’ve often heard that once a house becomes empty, it falls into disarray and disrepair quickly. I can’t explain it. It’s almost as if it becomes lonely or misses the family that left. I know it sounds strange.” My daughter Skye mentioned.

“I’ve heard that too,” I replied.

Finally, we all got out of the truck and slowly walked across the yard to the house. We each peered into different windows, and the glass was so dirty with a brown film that we could barely see inside. When the kids and I came to the side door just under the old carport, we noticed that it was ajar. So, I pushed it open and called out.

“Hello!” I called as I stepped inside the house, followed by my brood.

I listened and waited but heard not a peep.

“Hellooooo!!!” I repeated louder the second time as we all began to look around.

The wind which whistled through a hole in the window pane in one of the living room windows was the only sound we heard. Slowly, the four of us crept from room to room, exploring until we came to what was once mine and Max’s old bedroom, which was across the vast hall from the staircase.

I stopped in the middle of mine and my brother’s old bedroom and looked around, studying the faded blue walls, the floor, windows, ceiling, and light fixture. I then looked at my children before walking up to one of the walls and placing a hand on it.

“If only these walls could talk!” I said wistfully, “After all these years, the walls still look the same; only they’re faded and worn. My mother painted these walls for Max when she decided that we should have separate rooms and moved me upstairs.”

I turned and focused on the door to the old closet and was instantly overwhelmed with excitement. I rushed to it and opened the door before the smell of cedar immediately took me back. I walked into the closet, reached up to the shelf over the clothes-rack, and began feeling around. I knew that what I had come for had to be there somewhere unless one of the people who had moved in after we left had accidentally discovered it. I hoped to goodness that had not been the case as I continued to feel around.

“I remember Max and I left something here. I forgot where we put it for all these years. But just the other day, it hit me. There’s a cubby hole in this closet, and I need to find something we left. I think it’s above the shelf.” I told my kids.

I stood as high as I possibly could on my tip-toes and reached over the shelf once more, then paused suddenly when I felt a loose board and pushed it into the back wall. I continued to push around the old back wall with my hand until I felt and heard another board fall backward. Suddenly, an ugly grey spider crawled out of the hole and scurried across the shelf, startling me so that I yelped like a scared puppy and jumped back. When the eight-legged creature disappeared into a knothole in the side wall, I resumed my frantic search, feeling around the now-discovered cubby hole until I finally felt something.

“Oh, my God! I feel something! I think this is it!” I cried in excited anticipation.

There sat an old stool in the opposite corner of the bedroom. My oldest daughter, Leilani, grabbed it and brought it to me. I took the seat, sat in on the floor in front of me, and stepped onto it. My eldest son, Kevin, handed me a flashlight before helping to steady me to prevent me from falling.

The house was falling apart and had an intense, musty order. We could hear the old structure creak and pop around us as the outside breeze blew against it. The paint on the walls was not only faded but chipped in a few areas. Cobwebs filled every corner. I did not know what I was feeling. It felt like just another piece of wood. I continued to look and feel around until I felt something cold and hard. I then felt something plastic.

Feeling a huge rush of excitement, perhaps nostalgia, I shone the flashlight on what looked to be plastic packages covered with a thick blanket of brownish-grey dust. I then pulled the mysterious objects from the cubby hole and out of the closet before stepping down from the stool with the aid of Kevin.

“Oh my gosh! It’s still here! After all these years, it’s still here, exactly where I left it!” I gushed, hardly able to believe the objects had sat there untouched for so long.

“What are you talking about, Mom?” Leilani asked me.

“This!” I answered, showing everyone the items which I held in my hands.

I excitedly wiped away the thick cover of dust and moisture from the objects, revealing two sealed Ziploc bags. When I opened them, I pulled out a little toy red caboose from one baggy and beautiful ceramic picture frame, from the other. Minus the dust, an ugly orange-brown residue had discolored the bags, having slowly formed over the years. I slowly turned the caboose and picture frame every which way in my hands, having a good look at them as my children curiously gathered around behind me and looked over my shoulder to watch. I turned the frame face up, and sure enough, there was a picture inside. It felt as if we had opened a time capsule.

The photo was that of a sandy-haired young man holding a huge, golden trophy, surrounded by three middle-school-aged boys and one teenage girl. I covered my mouth as we all gazed at the picture. Leilani gasped as her eyes grew wide as she beheld the frozen fragment of time.

“Mom! Is that you??? And Uncle Max???” She gasped.

“And who’s the dude?” My youngest son Trevor asked.

“Yeah, Mom. Who’s the young man?” My youngest daughter Skye, repeated.

I paused and continued to gaze at the old photo before turning the frame over, removing the back of it and took out the photo, along with a folded piece of paper. I handed the snapshot and frame to Kevin, then unfolded the document to find drawings, beautiful drawings which looked so professional and realistic! Because everything had been sealed, it still looked brand new, having been spared from deterioration and discoloration of age.

As I stared at the artwork, rubbing one hand across the surface of the paper and sitting down on the stool, my throat suddenly tightened, and my eyes filled with clear, hot liquid. Suddenly, an uncontrollable urge to cry overtook me, and I just wailed, putting my face in one hand as my body writhed with each sob. The looks of curiosity on my adult children’s faces turned to those of concern and fear.

“Mom! What’s wrong?” They all asked, horrified as two of them huddled on each side of me and snaked an arm around me.

“Here, Mom! Get up so I can pull the stool next to the window! You need some fresh air.” Trevor urged. I got up, and he pulled the stool over to the window while Leilani threw it open and let the autumn breeze blow in through the old screen and fill the stuffy old bedroom.

I only stood there, as tears streamed down my cheeks before Skye wiped them away with one thumb. I then hugged the photo, toy caboose, and artwork against my chest before lowering my head to begin sobbing once more.

“My God, Mom! What is going on?” Skye asked as she knelt in front of me, getting level with me and placing a loving hand on my knee. My other three children knelt around me, putting their arms around my torso.

“I guess I never told you, did I?” I sniffled.

“About what, Mom?” Kevin asked.

“The story behind these items Max and I hid in the closet thirty-two years ago.” I clarified. And I sat on the little stool next to the open window, heirlooms in hand, and drifted back in time…”

When People Lump You into A Category Based on The Bad Behavior of Someone Close to You

I hear these stories all the time from people who have a ne’er do well brother, an uncle who’s the town drunk, or a sister who’s notorious for being promiscuous. But whether your dad did a stint in prison, or your mom is perceived by others to be the town nut-job, know that these are things you have no control over and therefore, are not your responsibility. You aren’t defined by the lousy choices or unfortunate circumstances of a few relatives.

Yes, I know that the judgement people heap on top of you hurts and hurts terribly, but I want you to know that you’re an innocent person in all of it. You’re an individual and you shouldn’t feel ashamed of anything because you’ve done nothing wrong. Realize that humans have a bad habit of lumping people into categories, whether justly or unjustly. And they’re wrong for painting you with the same brush based on bad choices a few of your family members made.

People also do this with different races and ethnic groups as well. It seems that many automatically think that all Blacks are thugs, all Whites are racist, all Native Americans are savages, all Hispanics are illegal aliens and so forth.

Yes, I’ve heard all the above statements throughout high school, in a few workplaces, even in the news media and it’s all garbage! We should all know that none of it is true. There are some of the greatest, loving, and most tenderhearted people in every race and there are many who don’t live up to the ignorant stereotypes that society likes to hoist upon them.

Therefore, I want you to know that anyone who puts you in a category with a few evil bad apples, or people who’ve simply made bad choices, doesn’t know the individual you. They do not know your heart nor your inner reality. And they don’t know what you think and feel.

Nobody can possibly know these things but you and God. And if they claim they do know, they’re only playing God by claiming to know the unknowable. Realize that when people perceive you to be someone you aren’t, their thoughts and opinions aren’t worthy of even being considered and you shouldn’t place any value to them.

In fact, you should kick these people to the curb because they aren’t worth your time nor energy. You deserve people in your life who get you- who love you for you and the good you bring to this world.

So, know that you deserve better and that you are not the labels others stick to you.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullying and Bias Go Hand in Hand

Humans tend to be selective of those who are more like them because sameness brings comfort and security. We can choose who to date, who to be friends with, hang out with, and with whom to do business. We choose who we choose.

I can agree that we have the right to choose the people we associate with. What we don’t have the right to do is mistreat, dehumanize, and demonize the people we don’t choose. Although we may not like certain people, we should respect their right to human dignity and to exist. We should let them go on with their lives and pursue their happiness, goals, and dreams, rather than try to hold them back just because they’re different from us.

Though we may not like a person, we must know that that person is due the same human rights. And where we go wrong is when we regard anyone different from us, “the enemy,” solely on their differences and not because of any actions they’ve done against us.

In deeming someone an enemy without just cause, we force them to become our enemy by the abuse we commit against them. Our offense justifies their defense. We make them an adversary by provoking them to fight back and defend themselves.

Biases can cause a kind of tunnel vision in that we can’t see outside our comfort zones. Sameness and familiarity may make people more comfortable and give certainty and security, but, on the downside, it causes narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness. It produces blind spots, and the more biased we are, the more we miss, or rather, reject information that may broaden our horizons and make us better and more informed people. In short, it promotes blindness to the world around us.

It’s like living in a small town all your life and never venturing outside the city limits. There’s so much you miss because there’s a much bigger world outside that small town.

It’s the same with selecting the same types of people to be in your life- people who look like you, think like you and act like you. You cheat yourself out of meeting many people who are also great and exciting. You miss out on people you could learn from and who would otherwise be significant assets to your life- people who would otherwise be great friends and add love and positivity to your life.

After all, “variety is the spice of life.” Right?

On the other hand, when you base your biases only on character and open yourself up to people who are different from you, you open yourself up to a much wider world. You broaden your outlook, widen your vision, and open yourself up to a broader range of ideas that might add benefit to your life.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Why The Mentally and Intellectually Disabled Are The Strongest, Bravest, and Purest Souls on Earth!

If you’re from my generation, I’m sure you remember the series from the early ’90s, “Life Goes On.” And if you remember this television series, then you automatically think of Corky Thatcher, the mentally challenged middle child of the Thatcher family, played by Chris Burke. He, in real life, has Down’s Syndrome.

I’m not writing this for personal gain. The chances are that neither Chris Burke nor any of the other cast members or producers will ever read this post, which is only proof that I write strictly from my heart and about what I’ve noticed on many, many occasions throughout my lifetime.

The Mentally and Intellectually disadvantaged have the purest and sweetest of hearts, yet they live in a world that looks down on them. They’re unwanted- shunned, ridiculed, and brutalized. Yet, most of them maintain their smiles and their unconditional kindness. Their moral compasses never waiver. They’re innocent, childlike, and have hearts of the purest gold.

I write books about unsung heroes, who are different and who bullies target daily. But I’ll tell you this:

The courageous, amazing real-life heroes are the best of the human race! I admire their unbreakable will, unshakeable courage, dogged determination, and amazing ability to keep smiles on their faces even under the most challenging of circumstances!

These are the people who have the fortitude to overcome odds that would be overwhelming to a cast majority of people. And I state this with full conviction.

These beautiful souls also work the lowliest of jobs- jobs that most people think are beneath them. They have the best work ethic, are the most dedicated, and have the most pride in their work. Yet, they are the worst treated and devalued by supervisors and coworkers!

These angels have more heart and soul than those who are “normal” and twice their ages.

You have to wonder how they do it. How do the mentally and intellectually disabled find the resolve to go up against such tremendous odds every single day? How do they keep pushing amid jeers, jokes, and cruel insults? Situations under which most “normal” people would’ve thrown in the towel?

Another reason why I salute the mentally and intellectually challenged is that they don’t let on that they even realize it when the rest of the world is showing it’s booty to them. They’re the people who never complain nor seem to feel sorry for themselves like most “normals” do anything life gives them a one-two punch. Yet they’re given the least respect, the most devalued, and the most abused- all because people see them as having the least power of all!

The mentally and intellectually disabled don’t retreat into drugs and alcohol. Instead, they retreat into their work and hobbies. They keep their minds occupied with things that interest them.

I’ve found that these people are also most talented in the arts. Many of them draw and play musical instruments like professionals! Yet, others overlook those talents because of who those talents belong to!

I don’t claim to know for sure, so I can’t speak for all the mentally and intellectually disabled. But through my observations over the years, I’ve come to realize that, maybe, the reason the mentally and intellectually disabled seem to handle adversity with such grace and aplomb is that they’ve accepted it as their normal.

I’m not saying that they don’t get hurt by it because they have feelings too. They have the same desires as everyone else- to be loved and accepted for who they are. We all have the desire to be apart of something and to be included. Humankind is hardwired that way.

But the mentally and intellectually challenged have such a way of bouncing back from years of repeated rejection- back to their cheerful selves much quicker! And they’re much more forgiving!

That’s what makes them such beautiful souls! They’re the brightest and most brilliant lights in a very dark world! And it will go to their credit and be celebrated in The Afterlife!

Therefore, all I can say to the millions of earth angels is this:

Keep up the good fight! Keep being a shining example to the rest of the world! I love you all!

My novel, “Kids Under the Latch Key,” is a first-person narrative about a mentally handicapped young man named Randy and a group of neighborhood kids who take him under their wings and protect him from the cruelty of several people in a small Southern town, who bully and label him because he is different. It is narrated by a now middle-aged Grace, who is one of the kids who befriended Randy and tries to protect him before an unexpected and tragic turn of events intervenes. The tragedy prompts Grace to question God and gives her a new perspective of the world and of people in general.

“Kids Under the Latch Key” by Cherie White

What Life is Like When Your Ruined Reputation Meets People Before You Do

The most insidious thing about being a victim of bullying is the loss of opportunities to meet new people and the inability to move on with new friends. When bullies and their drones have unjustly slandered or libeled you, even total strangers will no doubt hear of you, and chances are, they will automatically have their minds made up about you before they get a chance to meet you. Sadly, this is one feature of bullying that crosses very few people’s minds.

What’s even scarier is that you are left completely defenseless against any attack these strangers may bring because you haven’t the slightest idea who they are. How do you know who to watch out for? How do you know who to avoid? It’s impossible to protect yourself from invisible enemies.

It is a situation in which you are walking blind, which is very dangerous! You cannot see the enemy. Someone could walk right up to you on the street, in broad daylight, with a weapon hidden on them and you would never know of their intent to hurt or kill you until it was too late.

Remember. We lost the Vietnam War because we didn’t know who the enemy was. We didn’t know exactly who was or wasn’t on our side!

It’s the same when you are a victim of bullying, especially if you live in a rural area where everyone knows everyone. Once your tarnished reputation reaches far and wide, there will be times when you won’t know who is coming for you and it will be as if you are fighting ghosts.

Sadly, in these cases, the bullying has for so long gone on that your reputation in the community has become ironclad, and there isn’t much you can do to change it. Therefore, the best you can do to better your life is to move away and get a fresh start in a new town. It may be the only way you will find happiness and stability.

Bullying and Rising Rates of Antisemitism

The Jewish people and other minorities have been bullied worldwide, down through history, as have women. They’ve been intimidated by individuals, groups, corporations, schools, communities, and governments!

Recently, there has been an uptick of antisemitism from individuals, interest groups, certain celebrities, even government officials, such as Ilhan Omar and several others! They have also been attacked right here in America by Radical and Extremist Groups.

Understand that antisemitism, racism, and sexism are all forms of bullying because there is a clear-cut power imbalance. The evil committed against the Jewish people has been repetitious for so long!

People may disagree with me and may even get angry. But it is what it is, and I’m not going to hide it nor sugarcoat it.

Most bullies are bigots and racists because bullies are known to have hatred for anyone different from them in any way, although most of them would never admit it for fear of losing face. However, bullies must always have a target to degrade.

So, they prefer to bully someone safer to bully and not as legally protected, such as a person on the autism spectrum, who’s mentally ill, or an older person.

Understand that bullies despise differences from them in any way, and you can bet that most bullies are only closet racists and sexists. Still, because they choose to go the “lesser of two evils” route and be more politically correct to play it safe, they only bully those to whom they can do it and get away with it.

Understand that racism is wrong, no matter who it’s aimed at! Antisemitism is wrong! Hate is wrong!

Just because someone is different in race or skin color, in the religion they practice, or lives a different lifestyle, it gives no one the right to mistreat them!

Eliminate the hate!

Bullies Hate Differences of Any Kind. What is Hate Transfer?

bullying bullied victim hard

You’ve heard of addiction-transfer- when an addict replaces one addiction with another (for example, the addiction to food is replaced with an addiction to alcohol). But what about hate-transfer?

Here’s an explanation. I’ll use my school bullies as examples.

Many of my bullies in high school were stone-cold racists. However, they couldn’t express that hate to minorities because even during the ’80s and early ’90s, open racism was taboo. So, they simply replaced that hatred with that of the mentally ill and disabled, the indigent and out-of-town people.

I know they were racists because, on many occasions, they bullied me because having been a military brat and been around people of all races and creeds, I had no qualms with associating with people of all races. I accepted everyone because I’ve always believed we are all one race- the human race!

However, in Oakley, Tennessee, people frowned on this and not only people of my race but others as well.

hypocrite hypocrisy double standard

I also overheard many private conversations among girls in the bathrooms. They’d make disgusting racial slurs and put down other races among themselves within the privacy and secrecy of their group, then in public, smile and give a friendly pat on the back to the very people they put down earlier. Sheesh! They would act like they were their best friends.

But wait! There’s more!

However, they were openly hateful to the kids in the Special Ed classes, who they referred to as “the retarded kids.” They also publicly bullied kids who were dirt poor and kids who weren’t originally from Oakley. And if you were gay back then, you never let it be known at Oakley High School.

You see, people such as these have to have someone to bully. If they can’t bully other races, they will bully the poor and destitute. If they cannot bully transexuals, they will bully the mentally disabled.

bullying bullied victim

But wait! There’s more!

However, they were openly hateful to the kids in the Special Ed classes, who they referred to as “the retarded kids.” They also publicly bullied kids who were dirt poor and kids who weren’t originally from Oakley. And if you were gay back then, you never let it be known at Oakley High School.

You see, people such as these have to have someone to bully. If they can’t bully other races, they will bully the poor and destitute. If they cannot bully transexuals, they will bully the mentally disabled.

That is what hate-transfer is.

It’s having a hatred of anyone different from you but staying in the “safe zone” by only discriminating against those who aren’t as “protected.”

Prejudice against anyone should be illegal, and it is. However, bias against the poor or mentally disabled isn’t near as evident as bias against someone from a different race because anyone from any ethnicity can be poor or mentally incapacitated.

And skin color can be seen with the eyes. Poverty and mental disability are sometimes invisible to the eyes. You can be poor or have a mental disability. People can even know or suspect you may be poor or mentally disabled. But you don’t necessarily have to look that way.

bullying scapegoat victim bullied

Sadly, to have legal protections, your uniqueness to the majority must be seen with the eyes, and even then, it’s no guarantee you’ll have those protections.

Understand that most seasoned bullies hate anyone different from them. But they only harass the groups who have less legal protections and are “safest” and more socially acceptable to bully!

The more you know.

Double Standards And Their Relation to Bullying

bullies hypocrite double standard

Bullies are the biggest hypocrites! And another unfortunate reality of bullying is that the target is held to a double-standard. The bullies, especially those in authority, will often condemn the target for statements and actions they allow others to get away with. They will also demonize the target for things that are harmless or innocent.

Also, ideas and creations, which are independent things and should stand on their own merits, are undermined or dismissed if they’re found to originate from the target. However, if the exact ideas or creations come from anyone other than the target, they’re accepted, even praised.

It’s not about the idea or creation itself. It’s about who it comes from.

The reality is that nothing- no action, statement, idea or creation ever stands on its own merit. Nothing is ever independent of the person who conceived it.

Double-standards aren’t only put in place to assign different roles to different people in different positions in a hierarchy, they have another purpose as well:

1. To elevate, angelize and benefit the people we approve of and to degrade, demonize and harm the people we disapprove of.

Understand that people hold a target of bullying to double standards for one reason only, to stress, oppress and invalidate the person.

It doesn’t matter whether or not the person deserves it. What matters is how people feel about and perceive the person.

Remember that emotions and personal feelings always- always take priority over logic. Always has and always will. And the sooner you accept it, the quicker and more effectively you will be able to find your way around it.

Here are a couple of ways you can get around a double-standard:

1. Go incognito if possible. If you write a paper or invent something, don’t use your real name in the beginning. Use a pen name or pseudonym before submitting it.

bullied victim rejected left out excluded singled out

If you have bullies around, they won’t know it was you who created it, so they will likely approve of it. Then, once it’s approved and recognized for its brilliance, everyone will want to know who the mystery person is. Once an award has been prepared and everything’s all said and done, you can reveal who you are. Think of the movie, “The Cinderella Pact.”

I’ve also heard of people doing similar things in real life.

But note that this only works in certain situations.

2. Meet strangers who don’t know and haven’t heard of you. Find and befriend strangers who don’t know of your damaged reputation. Then keep company with them. These people are least likely to judge you because there will be no history or biases. With them, you start with a clean slate. So, you can put your best foot forward and be your best you!

Reputations are hard to change, but with careful thought, inventiveness, and creativity, you can intelligently work your way around your circumstances.

Bullies Love to Target Special Ed Kids and People with Mental Disabilities

Which is only proof that bullies are the biggest cowards in the world! Why? Because these particular targets are the most vulnerable and least valued students in most schools. They are virtually defenseless. The heartbreaking truth is that nine times out of ten, the rest of the student body and even the school staff do not see these innocent kids as human beings.

Should it be any wonder bullies prey on sped students and disabled adults the most? Again! Bullies are cowards! They select special needs kids to bully because these children are unwilling or unable to defend themselves properly. Because students in special education are usually low on social intelligence, they’re easy to get a reaction from, and bullies can exploit this at will.

I cannot count the times during school that I saw a bully go up to a sped student, snatch something away from them to get a little free entertainment, then as soon as the child started crying or screaming, the bully said, “Oops! Oh, I’m sorry. Here ya go!” and give the item back as soon as they got the desired reaction out of the poor kid.

Adult bullies in the workplace will also target employees with disabilities, as well.

In the workplace, I saw many adult bullies harass and attack fellow employees who were disabled. Those were the employees I felt compelled to stick up for. Many times, I’d make myself a target at work just by speaking up for a disabled employee.

Even worse, I’ve also heard gut-wrenching stories of other teachers in schools bullying those in the special ed program.

I also witnessed it firsthand during high school when a sped girl in the lunch line just a few heads in front of me was laughed at and mocked by a group of cliquey teachers. Mind you. These women were supposed to be adults!

I saw how these teachers would look down their noses at this child and how they laughed at her, making her the butt of their cruel jokes.

I also heard the mean-spirited comments. The teachers remarked about how this poor girl would never find a job nor contribute anything to society. They concluded that she would only be a drain on the taxpayers’ money once she got out of school.

I have to tell you. Just listening to those remarks made me sick to my stomach! How I wish I’d had the guts to stand up for her when it happened!

However, I was only seventeen and a student myself at the time. These bullies were teachers, and it was best for me to keep my mouth shut.

But I was also thankful that those cackling old shrews weren’t spewing any of their venomous wisecracks on me. Pure prejudice and discrimination were what this was!

Granted, not all mainstream teachers are this way. Most are very caring people who only want to help kids get the best start in life. However, it seems that every school has that one group of about four to five teachers who are cliquey, mean-spirited, and who think they’re above anyone else.

Every school has those, and they are usually the ones who not only mistreat the lunch ladies, custodians, and teachers who aren’t members of their little circle, they also mistreat sped students and sped teachers. And it’s a crying shame!

We must take off the blinders and admit that most (not all) schools and school districts don’t value students in the special education program as they do students in the regular classes. No, wait! Let’s be point-blank here. Most schools are plain biased against these kids; only they would never in this lifetime admit it. It’s the same with workplaces- they don’t put as much value in their disabled employees as everyone else.

And bullies instinctively know this. They know that sped kids and employees with disabilities aren’t worth much in the minds of school officials and managers and are the least protected,

This is why they torment these people without fear.

Understand that bullies are the most disgusting, most vile, and most cowardly of people. To a bully, harassing a special ed child or disabled adult is like taking candy from a baby. It’s just too darned easy!

Bullies are threatened by anyone who is a challenge and would never risk picking on anyone who had all their facilities and could take them on. So they focus on the people they perceive to be the weakest and most vulnerable.

The teachers who bully these kids are no better than the snot-nosed bullies who do it; they’ve only grown bigger. And the same with managers. Adults should know better!

And managers should realize that disabled employees are the most observant and obedient of policies and rules and the most dedicated workers in most cases.

It’s high time we passed laws to give disabled employees and students in Special Education better protections!