Bullying the Disabled

How Bullying Happens to People with Disabilities

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. However, when mainstream media focuses on the bullying epidemic in our society, teenagers’ stories are traditionally publicized. The most tragic stories usually involve teens who seemingly have everything to live for takes their own life after being mercilessly bullied by peers. These stories of teenage suicide cause outrage because almost everyone can put themselves in the parent’s shoes. However, the people most vulnerable to bullies in modern society are those with disabilities. These are the silent, defenseless victims who are often quick to trust, making them the perfect targets for bullies. Someone with a physical, intellectual, or psychological disability is viewed as the perfect victim in the eyes of a bully because: They are more likely to “keep quiet” about the bullying for fear of making someone mad or not like them anymore. As a society, we often treat people with disabilities in a child-parent role, even when they have normal or above normal intelligence. People with disabilities are often at the mercy of others for housing, transportation, and day-to-day activities. When bullies come in contact with helpless, easily victimized individuals, they feel empowered. In some cases, the bullying escalates into violent acts....

Continue reading