Bullying Must Stop

Bullying Must Stop

A film “Bully” follows the stories of five bullying victims, one of whom, a seventh-grader named Alex, has Aspergers’ Syndrome.  In the film, Alex is shown on a school bus telling another student that he hopes to be friends.  The classmate responds by threatening to kill him with a knife and assault him with a broom handle.  The film also shows Alex’s head being slammed into a bus seat.

Alex’s parents had noticed that he was becoming moody and secretive and that his grades were slipping, but dismissed these concerns as a normal part of becoming a teenager.  When they finally confronted the school, their concerns were similarly dismissed by school officials who told them “boys will be boys.”

The good news is that Alex finally moved to a new school where the bullying no longer occurred.  Sadly, for two other boys covered in the documentary, their outcomes were tragically different and ended in their suicides.

Bullying in our schools is a national disgrace.  Students with disabilities are particularly susceptible to this kind of abuse.  Parents and school districts must band together not only to stop bullying when it occurs, but to prevent it from occurring in the first place.  The very lives of our children depends on it.

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