Bullying is horrible, no matter who it happens to. But it's even more appalling when the victim is a special needs child.
I think the vast majority of parents and teachers understand this and put their foot down whenever they see bullying in action, but for a small child to understand that bullying is wrong and put a stop to it... That's impressive!
The story below was written by a teacher who witnessed a little girl bully her classmate with autism. But before the teacher could do anything about it, someone else stepped in...
"I work at a daycare center and a few weeks ago I was alone outside with 10 pre-K and kindergarten kids. There is one kid in the class who is undiagnosed (parental denial at its finest) but definitely on the autism spectrum. The other kids are all awesome with him and it is a wonderful group who all support and care for each other.
Enter a new problem child who gets joy out of preying on the weaker children in the herd.
We are outside and this little girl makes it her life's goal to mess with the little boy on the spectrum (let's call him Greg). She follows him around pushing all his buttons and hitting him, and as much as I separate her from him and make her sit out from playing and yell at her, she just keeps waiting until I turn my back to help another kid to go and mess with this little boy who at this point has melted into a puddle of anxiety and disfunction and is slipping into his state of self-harming that happens when he loses it.
I go up and have finally cuddle him and calmed him down to where he is playing happily with a ball again. I turn my back to stop the other two boys using the little bikes we have on the playground as bumper cars and as I turn back around I see this little girl slowly creeping up on Greg again about to absolutely finish him. I am about to loose my cool on this girl when suddenly out of left field this one little boy (let's call him Dave) screams at the girl: 'Leave him alone!' And from across the playground charges at this girl, leaps in the air and pushes her enough to stun her, but not enough to hurt her really.
He then says, 'It's not fun when someone messes with you, is it?' and turns and walks away. The most amazing kid justice I have seen in a while, and although I as the teacher, I should have punished him for pushing a kid, I just pretended I didn't see when she ran up to me sobbing. I just told her to go sit at the picnic table and calm down.
Later that day, I took him aside and told him he is a good friend and gave him a sticker. I'm a terrible teacher for this entire scenario, but I was so proud of that little boy for protecting Greg and teaching that little girl a lesson because nobody else would."
Please share this story if you also think that more people should stand up against bullying!
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