Saturday, February 09, 2008

Where is the outrage?

The hate crimes against people with disabilities continue. Last month, two teens and 1 young adult were sentenced in the U.K. for the brutal murder for sport of Brent Martin.

Today, it is reported in a Cleveland newspaper that 3 12-year old students, 2 boys and 1 girl, beat their 12 year classmate, who has cerebral palsy.

“A 12-year-old boy who has battled cerebral palsy and seizures his entire life couldn't fight back last week when three students attacked him after a tutoring session.
The sixth-grader felt pain in his groin after the attack and had to have a testicle removed the next day, his mother said.
East Cleveland police are investigating the attack, which happened Jan. 31 at Prospect Elementary School.
Detectives are waiting for a doctor to determine whether the beating
caused the injury, Commander Dan Heglaw said.
Three sixth-graders - two boys and a girl - kicked the 12-year-old in the back and smacked him in the head about 5 p.m., an hour after school security left the building, police said.”

This was not the first time this child was hurt by students.

“The boy is often targeted by other students because of his medical condition, a neurological disorder that impairs people's ability to control their movement and posture. He was struck by another student in November, his mother said. The school implemented a "no-bullying policy" after that attack, she said.”

This beating occurred on school property after a tutoring session. This student has been targeted more than once by his classmates. The paper reports Superintendent Myrna Corley’s response to this latest beating,

“It's an unfortunate situation.”
UNFORTUNATE?!! Better words might be: Outrageous! Will not be tolerated in my school! A hate crime that will be fully prosecuted!

The 3 students have been suspended, but that is not enough.

Where oh where, do 12 year old kids learn that violence and abuse of those that are different than them is acceptable? I just don’t believe that children are born hating. Our society is teaching the dehumanization of people with disabilities. It happens all the time in many, many forms – from our language, to our lack of inclusion, to the lack of coverage and outrage about this physical violence. Violence against with disabilities is a hate crime.

And, I think this boy deserves a fully paid transfer to another school where he will be safe and where he can do what he is supposed to be doing at school - learn.

Related posts -
Disability Rights: Why it is YOUR problem
And more violence...
Respect and Disability Advocacy


Diane J Standiford said...

WOW, I couldn't agree with you more. Maybe you can write a letter to ED., just had incident in Seattle where a man was beaten with his own CANE by 2 men speeding in a car that he and his friend yelled at to slow down. Man's inhumanity to man lives on.

Kathryn said...

David well said. Children are never born hating - they are taught to hate. I linked to your post. Thanks as well for posting about tone and therapies. Incredibly helpful. Thanks so much!

Dave Hingsburger said...

Thankyou for telling this story, getting the word out is the first part of the battle. As these crimes are not considered serious, are not seen as hate crimes, coverage by typical media outlets is sparce. We in the disability community need to be the ones shouting.

Diane J Standiford said...

David, we also need the help of able-bodied people like you. I did what I could when I could, but my disability is due to a progressive illness---I need you. I thank you.

Terri said...

This is appalling and breaks my heart. I linked to this post. I am grateful that you told this story.