Independent Media Centre Ireland

Culture of bullying special needs children in school

category antrim | health / disability issues | news report author Friday November 24, 2006 22:30author by ASBO the holyland students

Surprise, surprise recent research by 'Save the children' and 'Childline', found bullying of children with learning difficulties, mental and physical disabilities by both other children and teachers was widespread within mainstream schools.

'Save the the Children' and 'Childline' discovered bullying of children with learning difficulties, including dyslexia, autism, ADHD and children with physical impairments such as deafness and partial blindness, cerebral palsy, was initiated by teachers.

Living within the highly competitive capitalism educational system this is inevitable, with children competing for educational resources and attention from teachers. It follows that those with imperfections will be picked on, bullied and discouraged from participating in the educational system.

Our capitalist culture dictates to us, survival of the fittest, weak to the wall, and unfortunately physically and mentally imperfect children, will not survive and do not progress educationally or emotionally within the mainstream capitalist educational system.

It is only natural for teachers, from generations of stable,perfect, middle class homes and environments to discriminate against physically and mentally imperfect children and children from poverty stricken environments. It is human nature that teachers favour, assertive properous children from similar stable, perfect middle class environments over children with low self esteem due to poverty and , physicaly and mentally imperfect children with learning difficulties.

One mainstream teacher actually said 'autistic children were a drain and she had no time for them'.

Recently the government focused on anti-social behaviour by working class/poor youngsters, whilst turning a blind eye to vandalism and anti-social behaviour perpetrated by the middle class student population of the holylands in south belfast.


Comments (5 of 5)

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author by W.Finnerty.publication date Sat Nov 25, 2006 13:53author address author phone

Some may wish to know that an experimental web site is being developed to help both the victims and the perpetrators of bullying (of all kinds).

Further information can be found at:

Related Link:
author by eifpublication date Sat Nov 25, 2006 17:32author address author phone

One mainstream teacher actually said 'autistic children were a drain and she had no time for them'

To be fair, this is a very valid comment if interpreted in the way I did.

Children with many demanding special needs would indeed be a drain -on scarce resourses- for mainstream schools. and having no time means having no time! It does not imply the teacher is not 'bothered', but rather that special teachers and extra resources are necessary.

Most authistic children require a lot of time, energy and attention to reach their maximum educational potential, and putting this burden on a mainstream teacher with a full class of children benefits no one.

author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Sun Nov 26, 2006 15:48author address author phone

Anti-Bullying Ireland is a non-commercial website offering free help, advice and action for victims of school bullying in Ireland, also ideas for school boards of management on how to prevent bullying in schools. It includes a full and detailed description of the Box and Interview method (for prevention of bullying) for managers and principals.

author by M Cottonpublication date Mon Nov 27, 2006 16:45author address author phone

The link above will take you to some useful advice on strategies for children/adolescents with ASD/Asperger syndrome. Much of it could be applied in other circumstances.

author by priscillamooney - nonepublication date Tue May 18, 2010 21:59author email priscilla.mooney at upcmail dot ieauthor address 7437624author phone 085

i am not a bit surprised to hear a teacher say autistic children are a drain,if you have an autistic child in an irish school they dont stand a son is 11yrs old,in fifth class at st.louis rathmines and has been bullied for 4 yrs,the staff are not capable of dealing with bullies,you go in to complain when your child is bullied physically,verbally and mentally,the principal has a "chat" with the bullies,they stop for a while,then they start again! the bullies parents dont seem to know what their children are up to at school,my son was attacked in school after an operation,damage done to his ear,i just found out last week that the principal didnt even tell his parents what he did!!this happened before xmas.its time for irish schools to take a proper stand against the bullies,who wants bad children running the school,its the adults job,not the bullies.two lovely young girls phoebe prince and leanne wolfe took their lives because the powers that be in this country wouldnt get up off their lazy backsides and protect our children.there should be laws to protect them in school,grown ups in employment have rights in this country,but they can take up for themselves,some children cant.any teacher in irish schools who doesnt do her job properly and protect her students from bullies should be sacked and prosecutedprotection is actually more important than can a child learn in an atmosphere of fear and of my sons teachers told him to stop "spinning tales"when he reported bullying in the sons current teacher told me "im not listening to this crap"when i explained to her that my son threatened suicide on a few occasions,she actually turned on her heel and walked away from me !! to any young person in ireland who took their own life because of bullies we as the adults owe it to them to speak out,shout it out loud and clear that bullying is abnormal and cruel.

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