Best Buddies creates friendships, combats stigmas

This article is in response to a video posted by a father of a boy who has Autism. In this video he explains why he is outraged that his son’s own teachers were verbally abusive to their students and did not treat his son with respect.

This video demonstrates a continuing societal problem: discrimination towards people with special needs. I personally find it astonishing that people can bully others solely because that the person was born with something that makes them physically or mentally different. People have no control over the way they are born, so why should they be punished?

The answer is that they shouldn’t. These students, though they may look or speak differently, are actually quite similar to those without special needs. As the video states, they are not ‘subhuman’ and do understand what is happening around them, and that’s why the bullying needs to stop.

They, just like everyone else, want a happy life, whatever that may be, and acceptance by others. This is why I do what I do with Best Buddies. I work to help these people have a normal high school experience by creating friendships that happen both in and out of school, which sadly many of them would not otherwise have. Through this work, I have become friends with so many funny, sweet and interesting people that attend our school.

Luckily, our school has special education teachers who really care, unlike those as seen in this video. Through my work with Best Buddies, I have gotten to know the special education teachers quite well, and they are amazing teachers whom their students look up to.

However, I still think Marshall can learn something from this video. Discrimination toward people with special needs is wrong. Not only do they understand and are hurt by bullying, but it also hurts all those who care about them. Everyone at our school can help make a difference to end this problem. If you see someone being bullied, help them how ever you can. If you see them in the hall or at the lunch table alone, say “hi” or ask them to join sitting with you. This, though it seems small, makes a huge difference. These people are great too, and they deserve the same respect as everyone else.