Why? Because, sadly, 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 the most? It’s because bullies are great big cowards and all too often, 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 I’ve seen 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.
Even worse, I’ve also heard gut-wrenching stories of other teachers 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, and I was just 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. And bullies instinctively know this. They know that sped kids aren’t worth much in the minds of school officials and the least protected, which is why they torment these children without fear.
Understand that bullies are the most disgusting, most vile and most cowardly of people. To a bully, harassing a special ed child 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 kids 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. Adults should know better!
It’s high time we passed laws to give students in Special Education better protections!