Top 10 Facts about Bullying and Harassment of Students with Disabilities

1. The statistics – Students with disabilities are much more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers.

Although only 10 U.S. studies have been conducted on the connection between bullying and developmental disabilities, all of these studies found that children with disabilities were two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers.

2. The impact – Bullying affects a student’s ability to learn.

Many students with disabilities are already addressing challenges in the academic environment. When they are bullied, it can directly impact their education.

Bullying is not a harmless rite of childhood that everyone experiences. Research shows that bullying can negatively impact a child’s access to education and lead to:

  • school avoidance and higher rates of absenteeism
  • decrease in grades
  • inability to concentrate
  • loss of interest in academic achievement
  • increase in dropout rates

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Bullying in Texas Schools

Texas laws require schools and school administrators to take actions to prevent bullying and to investigate reports of bullying.  The law breaks bullying into 3 components:

Conduct Physical conduct that occurs at school, a school function, or in a school vehicle. – Written, verbal or electronic expression.;

Motivation:  Bullying involves exploiting an imbalance of power. – Exploit: “to use selfishly for one’s ends.” – Exploitation involves intentional conduct.;

Effect: The conduct must either 1) interfere with the student’s education; or 2) substantially disrupt the operation of the school.

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