Following our recent LinkedIn survey, 87% of those who identify as disabled were bullied at some point throughout school.
Let that number sit with you a moment.
Just over 1 in 10 disabled people survive education without being bullied.
Surely this can’t be right ?
91 disabled people responded to the survey, however in the comments section some people went in to more detail.
One lady wrote “I live with a visible disability and I was bullied, but NOT for my disability”
The same question was asked to people who do not have a disability and 62% responded saying they were bullied. In the UK, you had more chance of being bullied in school than not. That’s a shocking statistic, especially as we know that bullying can lead to suicide and mental health conditions. 186 people without a disability responded to the survey with less than 70 going through education without being bullied in one form or another.
“School was hell for me I still don’t really know why the girls bullied me but it has left lasting and painful memories” another lady wrote.
You may notice I used the word had more chance of being bullied instead of have. The statistics from my survey are from those 18 and over. I’d like to hope that these figures are a lot lower, however some of what I read suggests it isn’t too dissimilar.
What I would love to ask the 277 people who took part in the survey is who bullied them, was it students or teachers ?
Some people may think this is a ridiculous question, whilst other will be nodding. Some of the posts that I read regularly on Twitter are parents whose children are punished for being autistic. Think of the symptoms of how autism can impact someone day to day and their children are getting detentions for this.
It’s no different than punishing me for not committing to the triple jump now I’m a full time wheelchair user.
How do we improve this ?
My first step is that there needs to be greater education in schools when it comes to disability inclusion. You don’t need to spend time going in to details on any condition but spreading how different people have different requirements.
Ensure teachers are trained and aware how to adapt their styles to those who are neurodiverse. Heads of schools to ensure that Neurodiverse champions are teaching those who require a flexible approach.
What do you think needs to happen?