Monday, May 19, 2008

Britain tries to stop bullying of disabled children

The British charity Mencap reported May 15 that eight out of 10 children with a learning disability have been bullied, and six out of 10 physically hurt, according to the BBC.

The British government says some disabled children may be more isolated than other children in school and thus "they might find it harder to resist bullies and to tell someone about it," according to the BBC.

British Schools Secretary Edward Balls said: "Bullying children with special educational needs and disabilities has to be the cruelest expression of cowardice. Singling out a child because they are different is unacceptable and wrong. We all need to look beyond the disability and see the young person."

Recommendations to stop the bullying are:
  • Appointing someone to look out for a particular child
  • Taking time to talk
  • Including everyone in sport and physical activities
  • Using Sencos (special educational needs coordinators) to identify and monitor bullying, to intervene and support
  • Having a whole school policy against bullying

Estimates are that one in five children in Britain has a disability or is considered "special educational needs."