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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Oct 17, 2016, 03:28 AM

1. Yes, absolutely.

My older son is mildly autistic, and he faced bullying in grade school. It was not as bad as can happen, and it was well before the current climate of social media.

We were fortunate in that we were able to transfer him into a private school in 7th grade, where his differences didn't matter so much. He was very smart, and in the public school that wasn't appreciated. In the private school he was.

In the years since, like so many like him, he's had struggles and successes. This fall he started graduate school at a second tier public university, where I'm hoping he'll be nurtured as he needs to be.

Having a kid like this has made me extremely sensitive to this issue.

A personal note: I noticed, as I was going through the public school system, that there was always a kid in a class or grade who was the designated despised one. On a class trip, probably in eighth grade -- this would have been at least fifty years ago so the details are lost to my memory -- I took a deep breath and spent the trip with the designated despised one. He seemed grateful, and I wasn't ostracized for what I did. My family moved to another part of the country a few months later, so I have no idea whatever happened to that kid, but I can only hope his lie wasn't the hell it had been. As I recall (and again, this was a very long time ago) he wasn't in any way a bad person. Just desperately lonely because of how he'd been treated, how he'd been shut out of everything. I honestly wish I could recall his name because I'd like to reach out again after all these years. More to the point, that day I spent with him, there was absolutely nothing that could account for his being the class despised person. He didn't have a body odor. He wasn't weird in any way. He was just the designated despised one. How terrible is that?

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Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
elleng Oct 2016 OP
LineNew Reply Yes, absolutely.
PoindexterOglethorpe Oct 2016 #1
OnDoutside Oct 2016 #2
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