I just took the pledge to stand up to bullying and its damaging effect on children, schools and communities and invite you to do the same.
This week I was invited to share a story about bullying. Some of you know that my child has a mild form of Autism. He is high functioning and looks like a normal kid, but he has a hard time focusing during his lessons, because of his sensory needs which distracts him from learning. We are faced with the difficult decision every day to mainstream him into a regular classroom, and one day he will get there, but for now, we just want what’s best for him.
In the last parent teacher meeting, Logan’s teacher had me thinking is he ready for mainstream 1st Grade? (Mainstreaming just means a regular classroom with typical peers his own age). We went over both his strengths and weaknesses, and, ideally, you want to mainstream them where their strengths are. Why? Because in a regular classroom of 30+ children, the teacher won’t have time to slow down and give him the individual attention he needs, especially if he doesn’t ask questions. You can imagine how easily he will get lost in his area of need or “get left behind”.
Here’s the problem. If you mainstream them too early and they’re not ready, the damaging part is – they may be bullied, realize they are different, and as a result, they will withdraw, get depressed, and don’t like going to school which puts them behind even more.
I forgot to mention that Logan’s kindergarten teacher used to teach kids with special needs in Middle School. She said that at that point, it’s hard to get them back again, because they were already traumatized and hate school which is why she wanted to teach younger kids to prevent this from happening. That makes me so sad.
Kids will be kids and most parents will say, “that’s what kids do” or “they will grow out of it,” but what if it was your child?
“Teasing, name calling, spreading rumors, and taunting are all types of bullying.”
As a mom, I feel strongly about teaching anti-bullying behavior. I talk to my boys about being compassionate towards their peers all the time. Please take a moment and take the pledge with me in the effort to end bullying and share this with everyone you know.
If you would like to share additional facts and information around the bullying and this pledge, please check out these links: stopbullying.gov and antibullying.net.
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Disclosure: This article is sponsored by TakePart.