Students with special needs are not the problem

I was quite disturbed by an opinion expressed in a letter on April 9 which puts the blame for bullying on the fact that special needs children get educated alongside regular education children.

Because special needs children draw the attention away from the other students, the author of the letter writes, the other students are deprived of the teacher’s attention, leading to resentment and envy and then, quite understandably, to bullying. The bullies are not to blame.

As a teacher, I have to tell you that if my students get deprived of my attention it is usually not because of my special needs children but because I have to spend an extraordinary amount of time controlling children who never learned respect and the value of an education at home but instead learned that physical dominance trumps everything.

These are the children that consistently disrupt the learning process in class and take up a disproportionate amount of my time. Not surprisingly, this is the same group that spawns the bullies at school and in later life who will always find someone else to blame.

Adrienne Gaedeke