Over the years, learners with disabilities have experienced bullying in all levels of education. This is unfortunate as people with disabilities also have the right to be treated concerning the rights that they possess as well as e able to conduct their responsibilities. (Rose et al., 2015). Bullying occurs in various ways. Be it physical abuse, stigmatization, emotional abuse, and even psychological torture. When learners with special education needs get included in the typical classroom, adaptation becomes hard. This is because they have different requirements that are not generally met in an inclusive classroom. When the teachers and the fellow students don’t know how to deal with these learners, it becomes difficult for them to be accommodated well in these classrooms without any problems. These problems range from the different attitudes accorded to them from both the teachers as well as the learners, lack of the knowledge on how to deal with these learners in the right way, lack of enough facilities that cater for their various needs, and insufficient learning opportunities which will help them partake in the regular school activities. When dealing with learners with disabilities from the micro, mezzo, and macro levels, it is essential to understand their level of thinking and start from the available baselines. This will enable all the stakeholders to know how to work together best and reduce the prevalence of bullying in schools. It is essential to understand the areas that bullying happens. The micro-level is looking at an individual and the effect the bullying has on them, how to reduce the level at which it happens and what could be done to ensure that the learner is better. The mezzo level is the level in which groups surrounding the learners are looked at and ensure that they play their part to reduce bullying in inclusive institutions. The macro-level refers to having a comprehensive look at organizations, communities, and institutions. This is important as it helps intervene for the various needs of learners with disabilities and, in the process, ensure that they have the right they are treated well regardless of their disabilities. This paper explains how every person in these different levels can put in the work to help reduce bullying in inclusive schools. (Sharma et al., 2019).
How to stop bullying.
For Children with disabilities, the chance of experiencing bullying is higher than their typical peers. These disabilities include some like such as sensory, physical, intellectual, emotional developmental, and sensory disabilities. (Nic Aindriú et al. 2020). There are a number of risks that contribute to these acts. They include uncomfortable environments, physical vulnerability, and social skill challenges. However, kids with special needs tend also to bully their other special needs learners. This can be seen in cases where the cases rare, severe, and mild, where the mild cases bully the extreme cases. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well. Therefore, bullying can be referred to as making fun of kids and learners because of their different physical situations, intelligence matters, and emotional problems.
In some cases, not only is bullying worse, but it can lead to fatal conditions. (Oliveira et al., 2015). All groups should recognize that the term disability is a concept that is evolving and should be careful on how they act and interact around people with disabilities. This is critical as it will help in doing the right things to say and treating them with the respect they deserve.
When it comes to micro levels, here, the focus is on the individuals. This can be in terms of the individuals performing the act or the individuals going through the problems. This can be done by:
Educating individuals more about the various rights and responsibilities of learners with disabilities make stigmatization end. People with disabilities in these schools are as talented as everyone else is. Therefore, when given a chance to showcase their talents and abilities at different levels, they will find out it is just a disability that has not hindered their ability to perform and the other learners. Starting from the baselines is very important. It helps understand why the bullying is happening in the first place, dealing with it at the roots and stopping it completely. This occurs when various information outlets will cater to this need. Information is power. Therefore, counseling should be offered to help the students understanding the importance of accommodating their fellow learners with different needs and, in the process, learn from each other.
This refers to the various ways in which the learner can do to make themselves better. In as much as the bullying is not okay, the individuals need to work on themselves to reduce the rate at which they can get targeted. This is by involving themselves in various groups and societies. When this happens, they sell themselves and their abilities to the rest of the students and, in turn, get a chance to fight for the needs of learners with special needs and, in turn, reduce the rate at which bullying occurs at the school.
This can happen in terms of self-advocacy or peer advocacy. This refers to the people who have experienced discrimination in that area or any other way come together and fight for the rights of individuals with disabilities who are getting bullied. When people come together, they make beautiful things happen. Therefore, when learners who have experienced discrimination fight for each other’s rights, then it becomes easier to reduce the rate of bullying in the school. This can also help bring learners together to create societies that will help rally for change and cater to the needs of learners who have different special needs in the school. self-advocacy helps in letting the individuals know much better about themselves and, in turn, fight for their rights. (Mazzotti et al. 2018)
Mezzo levels refer to dealing with the different groups and societies that can help reduce the rate of bullying in school. This can be done by:
These are people in society who have come together to ensure that bullying is stopped at various learning institutions. They fight for the multiple needs and rights of these learners by putting up measures that will help reduce this. They can also help in accepting the learners with disabilities into their sports groups and other societies to help in fighting for the needs of learners and individuals with disabilities. This can be long-term or short-term, depending on the severity of the cases. They also help with the early identification of issues and find solutions to these cases on time before the situations get out of hand. (McConkey 2019).
Provision of materials.
The different groups and societies can come together and ensure that the materials that are needed for these learners are there. This is important as it lets the learners be themselves and work towards improving their forms. This helps in reducing the collision between students, which could lead to bullying. This can also be done by empowering these students to be independent. This is critical as it helps in learning how to live and work on their own. This helps in preventing problems that may arise from too much interaction with their bullies. These self-help groups are essential as they help the learners learn skills that help them grow into a better society.
Mainstream special needs.
As citizens and groups who want to help the special needs in institutions, they should help mainstream the various conditions that arise with special needs. This is important as it helps in knowing what special needs are, the challenges, and the strengths experienced. This helps in creating awareness which will, in turn, reduce the stigmatization that occurs around this subject. When people know of the existence of these needs, they will act accordingly and accommodate learners much better. (Dagli et al. 2015)
This refers to dealing with institutions and society to help in reducing bullying. This can be done through;
Institutions and society should come together to create a barrier-free environment. This is important as it helps in reducing the factors that contribute to the prevalence of bullying. This is by implementing policies that caution against bullying and impose punishments in case these policies are broken. The institutions can also help alter the school’s structure which does not favor the various needs of the learners, or better yet, coming up with new buildings that will help ease movements for learners with different needs. This is important as it allows the learners to feel acknowledged and considered. This can also be done by marking the environment appropriately to help ease movement. (Yaraya et al., 2018).
Let them make their own decisions.
Institutions should let learners with disabilities make their own decisions. This gives them independence and the ability to do few things. This is done by acknowledging that they are their people with their autonomy and can develop how they want life to work out for them. The only thing these institutions can do is support them while providing them with the resources that they need.
Solutions to bullying are not limited to the ones mentioned above. Therefore, it is essential to work together to ensure that these solutions are implemented and work on the small factors that affect learners. Learners with disabilities have the right to be included in the typical classroom without fear of getting bullied. Therefore, the school system should ensure that there are strict measures that cater to their various needs and offer counseling to ensure that all learners live with each other harmoniously. (Sharma et al., 2019).
Dagli, G., & Öznacar, B. (2015). An Evaluation on Mainstreaming Practices of Primary Schools According to the Views of School Administrators, Teachers, and Parents. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 15(5), 1317-1332. An Evaluation on Mainstreaming Practices of Primary Schools According to the Views of School Administrators, Teachers, and Parents. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 15(5), 1317-1332.
Oliveira, W. A. D., Silva, M. A. I., Mello, F. C. M. D., Porto, D. L., Yoshinaga, A. C. M., & Malta, D. C. (2015). The causes of bullying: results from the National Survey of School Health (PeNSE). Revista latino-americana de enfermagem, 23(2), 275-282.
Mazzotti, V. L., Rowe, D. A., Wall, J. C., & Bradley, K. E. (2018). Increasing self-advocacy for secondary students with disabilities: Evaluating effects of ME!. Inclusion, 6(3), 194-207.
McConkey, R. (2019). Citizenship and People with Intellectual Disabilities: An International Imperative?. In The Palgrave Handbook of Disability and Citizenship in the Global South (pp. 327-337). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Nic Aindriú, S., Ó Duibhir, P., & Travers, J. (2020). The prevalence and types of special educational needs in Irish immersion primary schools in the Republic of Ireland. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 35(5), 603-619.
Rose, C. A., Stormont, M., Wang, Z., Simpson, C. G., Preast, J. L., & Green, A. L. (2015). Bullying and students with disabilities: Examination of disability status and educational placement. School Psychology Review, 44(4), 425-444.
Sharma, U., Armstrong, A. C., Merumeru, L., Simi, J., & Yared, H. (2019). Addressing barriers to implementing inclusive education in the Pacific. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 23(1), 65-78.
Yaraya, T. A., Masalimova, A. R., Vasbieva, D. G., & Grudtsina, L. Y. (2018). The development of a training model for the formation of positive attitudes in teachers towards inclusive learners with special educational needs into the academic environment. South African Journal of Education, 38(2), 1-9.
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