Disability

3 Ways to Help Stop Disabled Kids from Getting Killed at School

Please Share

This post is about violence against kids with disabilities in schools.

This just happened:

This clip is about violent things that teachers said to and about the children with disabilities with which they are in charge of in school. Another post on this is linked here (and contains a transcript of the audio).

This is a new clip, but it’s not out of the ordinary, really.

Remember Max?

This was just a month ago – an Autistic teen was killed in school after being restrained (the story is linked here).

This stuff happens daily, weekly, it’s all over the place.

In response to the cried of, “what can we do to prevent disabled kills from being killed?” I have a few suggestions.

3 Ways to Help Stop Disabled Kids from Getting Killed at School
  1. Change the School System

Two things are at work right now in the school system:

  1. kids with disabilities are being segregated and isolated into “self contained” classes which allow for very little oversight
  2. the main person that many children directly interact with are the “para’s”; support staff who have received very little training and very little pay.

Increase the pay and the training that support staff receive and we are likely to see improvement in the quality of their care and instruction.

Keep kids with disabilities included in mainstream classes and you not only send the message that ableism is not tolerated and that all people have an equal and rightful  place in the system of learning, but you also make it easier to see everything that is going on. It’s hard for someone to threaten a child or abuse them when there are a multitude of eyes watching and ears listening.

2. Change the Culture

Our culture regards people with disabilities as bottom of the rung. Our culture pays people with disabilities the least (if at all, think of sheltered workshops). Abuse against people with disabilities in general is customary.

There is no excuse for cruelty, but it seems foolish to castigate poorly paid, poorly trained school aids who come from a culture that despises people with disabilities (most notably, intellectual disabilities).

You can’t just say, “oh shame on them, they are horrible people.” NO.

Shame on US ALL for accepting this and for creating a culture that time and again says it’s okay to treat us with disabilities as less-than. Shame on a culture that strives to fundamentally change those of us with disabilities, trying to make us into people without disabilities. We aren’t supposed to be like you! Our value was always in who we are, not how our bodies or brains operate!

We have got to shift this culture.

Weeding out our ableism, our prejudice against people with disabilities, right down to inspiration porn.

3. Families

Dovetailing shifting culture is the shift in families.

We are talking about violence against disabled kids in schools and yet as a culture, we excuse violence against disabled kids when it’s committed  by their own families and loved ones.

The ASAN estimates that 650 disabled people have been killed by their families; March 1st has been designated the Disability Day of Mourning.

Parents and families are killing their disabled children and yet we are horrified when school staff are violent.

Simple Solutions?

I am aware that these are simple but profoundly difficult solutions.

No one said change is easy; I am certainly not.

But I am saying that it can get easier over time, and that nothing will stop unless WE start and try and affect some changes in this broken world.

Please Share

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor, teacher and blogger. Single mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E), she is also a Trekkie who likes her coffee hot and black.
Meriah on EmailMeriah on FacebookMeriah on GoogleMeriah on InstagramMeriah on LinkedinMeriah on PinterestMeriah on TwitterMeriah on Youtube

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Font Resize
Contrast