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Disability Stories

Disability Education

Posted: 5/10/2011

I think that there should be more education on disability, the history of disability rights and how people with disabilities have been treated throughout time. I think it will do for me what learning about the history of racism has done for my parents.

My mom talks to me about how she learned more in class about how to treat people of different races than she ever did at home. She compares it to the reaction related to my brother's disability and talks all of the time about how she wishes the schools would include disability history in curriculum because she believes it will teach the same about communication, inclusion, respect and compassion for students with disabilities that racism studies has done for minorities.

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Posted: 5/3/2011

I've never been the person to really have a voice for something. I'm known to be funny at times, but most of the time, I'm the quietest one in the room. When I do talk, I sometimes have a stutter or I can't enunciate some words as they do. I never really cared about my enunciation problem, because no one ever brought it up. But one day I went into the bathroom and a few seconds later a few girls walked in and were laughing, they didn't know I was in there. They were going on about how I can't read and kept repeating "ta ta ta today junior". Sometimes, the bullying may not be face to face, but bullying behind your back can hurt even worse. The people who you thought were your friends turn out to make fun of you and call you names. That's when it really hurts.

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Posted: 5/3/2011

I was born with Cerebral Palsy that only affected the right side of my body. I can walk, talk, run, write and read on my own. I feel like any other almost fourteen year old girl. In my old neighborhood, the kids knew me well, they never judged me.

When I was seven, I moved. They kids called me things like "The Creeper" or even "It". We had a special language class, we learned the native language. The teacher would always fail me because I couldn't pronounce the words. The kids would mock me for this, saying this like "I don't speak Chinese, Creeper". When I was in gym, some boys would throw their shoes at my face and claim it was an "accident". Then, a boy pushed me into a small creek after school, which was covered in ice. If my friend wasn't there, I might have died because back then, I couldn't swim.

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Students with disabilities are often bullied because of the characteristics of their disability, which is NOT something that can be changed. Take the chance to get to know someone who is different from you, you will be glad you did.

Laura's Story

Posted: 4/18/2011

I was teased terribly all through school, beginning in third grade. I remember being humiliated in front of my friends. In forth grade, the students began to call me, "robot." Because I have aspergers syndrome(which I did not know about back then), I walk stiffly and I do not move my arms when I walk. This is why the other kids thought I looked like a robot when I walk. One time when I was at my brother's baseball game, one of the kids said, "look, there's the robot." He started imitating the way I walk. My mom was with me and saw the whole thing. She pulled the boy aside and told him that it was not nice to call people names and that he should stop.

The worst teasing happened in fifth grade. I remember one cold day after lunch, I was about to go out to recess. I was standing by the door and I saw the kids all gathered there waiting for me and calling out my name. I knew that something awful was about to happen, but I did not know what. I went into the bathroom for a few minutes and thought about what to do. There was a paraprofessional standing right by the door and I thought about telling her that something was going to happen to me, but I was too embarrassed.

I walked out the door. All of the other kids held hands and formed a ring around me and would not let me out. They walked around in a circle and said a lot of hurtful comments, which I do not remember. Then they began kicking me. Somehow I broke loose. Every day at recess, I would try to run away from them so that they would not do this. I would hide on the playground somewhere, but I was never safe. They would always find me. When they did find me they would say mean comments and began kicking me just like they did that first day.

I moved from school to school, trying to avoid being teased, but I was never able to get away from it. By high school, I had no self-esteem left at all. I would walk through the halls with my head down, afraid to look at anyone or talk to anyone. I remember these two boys in high school who would prey on this. They would come up behind me and scream in my ear. I would get scared and drop all of my books, spill my lunch, or whatever and the other kids would laugh.

School was miserable for me. I think something dramatic needs to be done to prevent bullying. I feel very strongly about this. The sad thing is, these kids probably do not even realize what an impact their comments and actions had on me. They do not realize what they did to me. I also think that teachers need to incorporate more about bullying into their daily curriculum. They need to educate the students on how to treat each other.

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