Are disabled kids treated unfairly?

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One third of students with behavioral and emotional disorders, 33.9% of students with autism, 24.3% of students with intellectual disabilities, 20.8% of students with health impairments, and 19% of students with specific learning disabilities face high levels of bullying and victimization. These disabled children are being treated unfairly because they were with born or acquired a disability. It is not just happening in one school or area, it is happening all over the world. You can never know when it will happen because bullying is not planned, it just happens.

These disabled children are getting bullied, mistreated, and harassed for what? For being different than others? We are all different in our own way, but some people must pick on those who are weaker or seem weaker than them to make themselves feel better. This has not only happened with disabilities, in the past it has also happened in other ways. Like before 1919, women were not allowed to vote and they were supposed to be housewives, but that is only because men considered women to be less powerful so they were not allowed to do anything significant. Nowadays, disabled people can be treated unfairly by bullying; making fun of their allergies or exposing them to their allergies.

Many people don’t know the consequences of harassing a disabled person. For example, there are laws such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Under Section 504. This was the first disability civil rights law to be enacted in the United States. This law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, and Section 504 works together with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to protect children and adults with disabilities from exclusion and unequal treatment in schools, jobs and the community.

“I hope that all students are treated fairly, [not just from] the Individualized Education Program (IEP) granting equal access,” says Mrs. Meusel, principle of Herman Intermediate and the AdVenture STEM Program. Mrs. Meusel believes that all disabled children should be let into the schools program, but in the Oak Grove School District (OGSD) each junior high school has a specific program. At Herman the program is Emotional Disturbance (ED), at Davis the program is Autism (AU), and at Bernal it is Severely Handicapped (SH).

Allison Mak said, “The special education children should have extra help to learn because people with disability learn differently”. Allison also knows that disabled kids aren’t treated fairly, “People make fun of them and point them out”. Allison believes that while the disabled children are at school it is the school’s responsibility to watch and care for those children. The adults that watch them for that day should also stop any harassment towards the disabled children.

How would you feel if you were bullied and excluded just because you had a disability? You would feel depressed, right? That is why we should all put ourselves in a disabled person’s life and think about how they feel at school. When you see a disabled person feeling sad, why don’t you talk to them and include them in your activity or friend circle. You might not be able to do everything with that person, but you give another person a smile to make them cheer them up. Don’t exclude, just include.