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Friday, July 29, 2011

Bully Prevention in the Classroom

Students with special needs frequently complain of being teased or bullied by peers.  A considerable amount of research has and is continuing to be conducted on issues related to bulling behavior.  This is not to suggest that all special needs students get teased or are bullied.

So, what is it about certain students that causing them to get teased or bullied, while other students with perhaps the same disorder does not teased or bullied?  Is it possible that a student may be doing something that is inviting the teasing or bullying?  This is not to suggest that a student being teased or bullied should be further victimized or blamed. However, perhaps what really needs to be done is to help the bullied students learn how to stop inviting such behavior (Davis, 1996 ). 

It is not that these students are verbally saying, You can tease me”, but it may be something they are doing that sends a message loud and clear that they can be teased or bullied.  What behaviors tend to invite teasing or bullying?  This can be answered by asking; What is the teaser or bully getting from their behavior?  Obviously, bullies are trying to get a response or control the student being teased or bullied.  Therefore, when a student being teased responds by crying or even getting angry, the bully is getting what he or she wants.

Remember the old saying, “If I am out of control, someone else must be in control”. This statement suggests that if the bully’s goal is to control the student he or she is bullying, when the student gets out of control, he is actually reinforcing the bully’s behavior. Therefore, it seems reasonable that as educators we need to teach students skills of how to not respond, or how to not give the bully control. This may be one of the most important social

Friday, July 22, 2011

Response to Intervention

RTI was recognized in the 2004 reauthorization of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as one option that school districts can use to identify students with learning disabilities. The federal law states: “When determining whether a child has a specific learning disability as defined in § 602 (29), a local educational agency shall not be required to take into consideration whether a child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation, or mathematical reasoning.” “In determining whether a child has a specific learning disability, a school district may use a process that determines if the student responds to scientific, research-based intervention as part of the evaluation procedures…….” ( P. L. 108-446 § 614(b)(6).