Bullying and Students With Disabilities

Excerpt from StopBullying.gov: (click for entire article)

Like bullying in general, bullying of students with disabilities represents both a civil rights and public health challenge. Amongst the possible effects of bullying the U.S. Department of Education (ED, 2010) includes lowered academic achievement and aspirations, increased anxiety, loss of self-esteem and confidence, depression and post-traumatic stress, deterioration in physical health, self-harm and suicidal thinking, suicide, feelings of alienation, absenteeism and other negative impacts, both educational and health related. While both students with and without disabilities face significant negative emotional, educational and physical results from bullying, students with disabilities are both uniquely vulnerable and disproportionately impacted by the bullying phenomenon. Unaddressed bullying of vulnerable students can be expected to have serious negative impacts on the school experiences of all children – social impacts can be expected in addition to individual impacts. Despite this, there exists a dearth of both research and policy focusing on eliminating the bullying of students with disabilities. Furthermore, evidence suggests that existing legal and policy tools available to address bullying against students with disabilities remain significantly under-utilized.

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