Raquel Benson is a Senior Contributor to TDA, a journalism student, humanist, and artist with issues of chronic imagination. She may be brash, but it stems from a deeper concern for the world around her.
School Bus Bullying
Social Issues – Footage of an autistic student being brutally beaten has surfaced thanks to one particularly sick individual who filmed the incident and posted it to Facebook. The beating occurred at a school bus stop in Maryland, and luckily, the evidence fell into the hands of WMAR-TV. The video crisply displayed an unidentified student viciously striking 11-year-old Kaleb Kula in the head.
“Yo, beat the shit out of him!” another student cheered in the background as Kaleb was beaten.
The abuse Kaleb faced was not new to him; he has been the victim of school bullying at Elkton Middle School for years. He reported to WMAR-TV that he just has “a bad reputation.”
“At least kids that don’t have special needs can defend themselves a little bit more [...] He’s pretty much defenseless,” said James Kula, Kaleb’s father.
Soon after the footage was discovered, Elkton police arrested and charged the boy who struck Kaleb with second degree assault.
Bullying and special needs students seem to have a close relationship, unfortunately. In fact, Kaleb’s situation barely makes a dent in the current statistic—38 percent of bullying victims are defined as “special needs students.”
To make matters worse, these victims not only suffer emotionally from these abuses, but they also suffer academically. The American Sociological Association reported that the GPA of students who were bullied in the 10th decreased by the 12th grade.
A defeatist, Kaleb unveils his painful sentiments about his latest bullying escapade, “I’m going to try to put this behind me, but then it’s going to come running back in front of me and confront me again [...] That’s what I think will happen. It’s like a groundhog trying to run from its shadow.”