Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bullying of Children With Disabilities The Series- Postscript IV

David M. Walker (U.S. Comptroller General)
David M. Walker (U.S. Comptroller General) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After we finished this series, the  Government Accountability Office issued a report on school bullying that was loaded with information. You should take a look at it.  Here are some additional items from the report.

Bullying at school is pervasive.  After reviewing the research on school bullying, the report notes that between 20 an 28percent of student report that they have been bullied.  That number is way high!

Bullying is costly. Among the results of peer bullying are the following: suicide; violent actions against others; depression; loneliness; low self-esteem; anxiety and higher risk for physical health consequences; and increased behavioral issues.

From a special education law perspective, the report notes significantly that the literature finds that victims of bullying often have academic difficulties.

49 states had bullying statutes at the time of the report, but the protections, and even the definition of bullying, varied widely from state to state.

The GAO applauds some of the collaborative efforts of the Department of Education and other federal agencies, such as the joint website Stop Bullying. But the GAO felt that the agencies could coordinate their efforts better and develop an assessment of the protections afforded by the various state civil rights laws.

Here is a summary of the GAO report.
You can read the entire 64 page GAO report here.
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  1. I found this information not surprising and sad. I do find it hard to believe after all the press around shootings at schools that deal with bullied students that there is not a federal law and regulations that help identify a "bully"

    1. I agree with you. There should be a federal law and regulations that help identify a bully. Unfortunately it causes many problems. This information was helpful to an extent.

  2. I also agree that this information is not surprising and extremely sad. Bullying, unfortunately, has most likely been going on since the beginning of time. There is always going to be someone who is a bully. However, if we are able to educate our students on the effects of bullying from a young age, we might have a chance in changing their attitude.
    Being a special educator, I have often had conversations with my students about other students bullying them because they have a learning disability. My students would often ask if they can be removed from special education so they didn't have to deal with the bullying. I tried to make my students realize as best as I could that everyone learns in different ways and sometimes people need more help than others but not to be ashamed that they were getting help. I also wanted my students to let me know if they were being bullied. If they were not able to tell me, I would not be able to stop it.

  3. I try my best to educate my students about bullying; how not to bully, and how to report it when they are the victim. It makes me a little sad because some of my students do not want anyone to know that they are in any kind of special education class, and the only reason is because they might get bullied if anyone finds out.

  4. This is not surprising and it's very sad. In my 20+ years of teaching I've seen bullying at every level from kindergartner to superintendent. Today the big national bullying story centers on the Miami Dolphins. Have you seen how many players are saying that it's the victim's fault for not being tough enough?

  5. This information does not surprise me. This year our small town became a static of Bullying. Unfortunately, the student shot his classmate that he has accused of bullying him. From this tragedy, local school districts have incorporated a anti-bullying program and a website to report bullying to help students. The website has not only helped to report bullying, but has also had students report thoughts of suicide.

  6. Thanks to Lauren, June & 2x Anon for your thoughts on this issue.