Here’s one comment by Kathy Metz which I completely agree with, ‘I would gladly take a simple assault charge to punch that senior in the face like he did Austin. Being a parent/guardian of a special needs 3 yr old it scares me to death to send him to school becase of the horror stories I hear about special needs students. I think the law should be much tougher on someone who deliberately harms a special needs person of any age. They are cowards and pathetic if you ask me. But there bullying came from somewhere in there past which is a sad story in itself. i was bullied as a child because i was very poor but it didn’t make me a bullier. I made me a better person. A senior needs to go to jail and then do volunteer time at UCP United Cerebal Palsy for a year. Maybe he would grow a heart and back bone.’.
I personally don’t think lots of jail time will help these people realize what they’re doing is wrong, what I think is great is the suggest that Kathy’s made to force them to volunteer and help people in difficult situations. I refuse to believe that the vast majority of school bullies who are picking on disabled students are doing so because they’re just cruel people. I think they’re doing what they do because they don’t perceive it as wrong and they don’t realize the daily hardships which disabled people face. But the simple fact of the matter is that living with any disability is a daily struggle which is infuriating by itself without the interference of others.
I can only imagine what it’s like to be a disabled student who is starting to go through puberty at high school. Going through puberty at high school is difficult enough but for a disabled child who is almost certainly going to get picked on, at least by some people must be incredibly difficult.
I think cases like this one involved George Austin help to highlight the reality of bullying in our schools, but I don’t want this news story to focus purely on one individual type of discrimination. I would lie to see bullying stop for all minority groups who always get targeted, whether it’s your race, religion, weight, appearance or so forth. The simple truth here is a lack of empathy and understanding for others, and that’s completely understandable when you consider that bullies are high school are only children themselves trying to find their own way. What’s not understandable is that the punishments tend to be punitive and don’t resolve the core issues at heart here. Finding the child, the parents of the child or making them do community service doesn’t prevent further bullying unless you target the source of their ignorance directly.
If a bully targets a wheelchair bound paraplegic child then a year volunteering with wheelchair bound people would do the trick. Pushing them around, changing bedpans, helping them do every little thing they cannot do themselves will shape up our youngsters who simply don’t know what being disabled is liked.
Although I was only temporarily disabled myself it just took a day or so for the frustration of not being able to walk to kick in and I found almost everything I couldn’t do incredibly frustrating.
If only George Austin lived in Orange County where an initiative has been set up by an organization called Canine Angels to provide disabled service dogs free of charge to 15-25 year old youths. These kinds of initiatives are great and I recommend looking into disabled service dogs (sometimes just known as service dogs) if you think that would interest you.