Discrimination definition: the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people Source: Merriam Webster
Bully: someone who frightens, hurts, or threatens smaller or weaker people
Source: Merriam Webster
Frightening, hurting or threatening weaker or smaller people are all unfair treatments, whether to a person or group of people who are different than others.
My interpretation is that they are the same….. The traditional interpretation of discrimination is treating people differently due to differences in race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc…. In America, much of this ”discrimination” has dissipated and many people do not engage. Here in the NY area, people of all religious groups, ethnic groups, and race co-exist peacefully. Recently I heard someone refer to discrimination as “so the 60’s”. From what I see, my children are growing up in a world in which “traditional discrimination” basically doesn’t exist. I emphasize that is what I see here in NY. There is a reason that they call New York City the “melting pot”.
Now in the year 2012 – discrimination is still here – but the public emphasis has shifted. Gay marriage has become a political and discriminatory issue. We have laws on sexual discrimination – but our children are basically ignored by the law in discrimination actions.
I know that as a child I was bullied – I was little, super skinny (wish that stayed the same), quiet and some other qualities that were the reason behind the bullying – and just plain MEAN kids. Where do mean kids come from? Some are just experimenting. But for others, have you ever heard the expression “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?”
I don’t remember too much bullying of special education children. Where was that? I remember a little but nothing like I see today.
My son has been bullied – also discriminated against. Everyone says that he is being bullied or teased. The definition of discrimination above defines discrimination as “unfair treatment of a person different from other people.”
Well – my son is different and he has been treated unfairly. He has been physically abused, the one highlighted in a Youtube incident using words that were definitely discriminatory. He has been excluded from teams and even treated differently and sarcastically by adults running teams. Aren’t the adults supposed to be setting an example? That’s a good one!!!! Keep the laughing to a minimum.
Think back when the immigrants were first coming to the US. They were smaller and weaker and were treated horribly. Think about slavery; those people were a smaller and weaker group who were treated horribly. Think about gay people; smaller and weaker group who are now fighting for equality. I could go on and on naming different groups.
Special Education children are no different – they are weaker and a smaller group – probably one of the easiest targets for mistreatment. Most of them are unable to advocate for themselves which makes their situation even worse than the other groups that are discriminated against. Unless people stand up for them and advocate, they do not have a chance….
So – again – is it bullying or discrimination? It is both!!!!!!
How should some of the actions be treated, as an issue of bullying or a legal issue? To the extent of the action and within reason, I personally think that it should be treated as a legal issue.
Schools have a code of conduct – well who decides how that is interpreted? The school decides. In this case, we have to have faith in our schools and their personnel. I have faith in some of the personnel – but not all of it.
Reporting bullying or illegal activities is not an action the school wants to take. Why not? It may be in the papers, it will “look bad” for the school, it may be in the records, impact the public opinion of the school and therefore affect property values – so where is the incentive? There is none….
Think about it!