Bullying is a problem for many children who are eligible for special education services, whether it is due to a physically apparent disability or by the fact that the child is accessing related services. Many of these children can find themselves at the mercy of a bully just for being different. A new documentary "Bully," releasing on April 13, looks at the problem of bullying in school and two of the stories follow concern two special education students.
In watching the film, however, you may not know that any of the children have disabilities. According to an article in Education Week published on April 11, 2012 about the film, the filmmakers deliberately did not bring up the disabilities of the two students, both diagnosed with Asperger's. The conscious choice was based on the fact that the filmmakers did not want the students' Autism Spectrum Disorders to be blamed as the reason the children were different and thus being bullied.
For many parents of children with disabilities though they have to face the hard reality everyday that their children are bullied because of the fact they are different. It will be interesting to see then whether the film's general advocacy against all children being bullied will also shed light on the specific problem of children with disabilities being bullied or do it a disservice by not specifically spotlighting the students' disabilities.
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