Monday, June 20, 2011

Progress Seen Amid Battle Against Bullying

SANDY, Utah — At 12 years old, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., Hannah Gilbert sat down at the computer, chose a fancy font and, using short, simple sentences, laid out her life's dream in an essay.
"My dream is to help little kids with special needs like me," wrote the little blonde, who has Down syndrome. "Please treat special needs kids good and don't be mean."
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 85 percent of children with disabilities are targets of bullying. In a recent study conducted by Community Gatepath, a California-based nonprofit that serves people with disabilities, researchers found maltreatment wasn't isolated to verbal abuse or ridicule, but also included physical abuses like tying children up or force feeding them dog food and alcohol. Sixty percent of children with disabilities are harassed to the point of physical injury.

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