Autism Acceptance Month Day #13 – Bullying is a public school crisis that has been occuring for decades. Technology.

Bullying. It’s been occuring for decades and decades. We see it portrayed in the scenes of the film Grease Where a member of the T-Birds has a shocking device in his palm and shakes the hand of a nerdish looking fellow. Years later we have read and see in the book made film The Outsider’s of it occuring outside school.

Nonetheless it is prevelant and while there has been no bullying specific policy made until the turn of the last century, it was not so enforced and followed to the directed manner as it should. There’s the great model of Olweus. This model was enacted in several school districts in the area over the past few years and policies have been enhanced more recently to include reporting methods to make it safer and efficient for all parties involved.

However with advances in technology and the use of social media, it is becoming more and more public than ever before. Many individuals with autism are the victim of such bullying, seeking friendship and acceptance in society. A developing body and not understanding social ques is just some prevelant hindrances that those on the spectrum face often times daily.

Whilst this was once a late elementary /middle school occuring. It has grown to all levels of public education, including College. We hear about it in the media time and time again. The only reason I can think of it occuring in the middle years of public education is because of a complexity of developing bodies, the changing of clothes in locker rooms and other close contact instances like developing a relationship. I have since learned that a prior curriculum requirement, the need shower after physical education has been eliminated for both the safety of the students and staff involved.

My only example of technology as a motive of bullying was in Seventh grade (remember this was 1998.) I had a computer at home, However I didn’t have my own email address. A peer and I exchanged emails with each other. Later on that day when I got home, i received an email from him with a hyperlink. myself being naive opened the link and it was a homosexual pornographic image. I then learned to gain trust before exchanging emails with others.

In the twenty one years since then, we have become Facebook Friends and forgave each other of our differences as he now has two children and is gainfully employed. Also in the same time, technology has jumped leaps and bounds. We have smartphones, social media, Alexa, which her smart plugs and so much more. With it has came then bullying and the consistency of the necessity of upgrading school policy often.

In closing, individuals on the spectrum must develop the skills necessary to protect themselves in the public eye to prevent seriously and potentially embarrassing and harmful instances from happening. Tomorrow we will close the week with issues in physical and mental bullying.