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Teachers can be bullies too: Chicago mother says special-needs son was dressed in trash bag
One Chicago mother is heartbroken that the teacher of her son with special needs put a trash bag on him because of his drooling. It's not an isolated incident: Children with disabilities and health issues are often among the most bullied in schools. - photo by Herb Scribner
Chicago mother Nyesha Terry wasnt exactly thrilled when she visited her son Lloyds kindergarten classroom and found him wearing a trash bag, according to WGN-TV.

To make matters worse, it was Lloyds teacher who dressed the child with special needs in the trash bag, according to WGN-TV.

My heart broke, Nyesha Terry told WGN-TV.

The teacher said she put the trash bag on Lloyd, who has epilepsy, because she was afraid he was going to get sick from the dampness created by the saliva that dripped from his mouth, WGN-TV reported.

Terry also found her son sitting alone in class.

He is the only child that was isolated, she told WGN-TV.

Terry contacted the Chicago Public School system and expressed her frustration. She said Lloyds previous school had bibs and extra pieces of clothing to keep Lloyd dry when he drooled, according to WGN-TV.

The school system responded with a statement that said, "We work to ensure all students are comfortable in their learning environment. This incident is inexcusable and CPS has launched an investigation. We will take all appropriate actions to ensure this issue is resolved and prevented from happening again."

Lloyd Terry is far from the first special-needs child to be isolated and bullied. Children with disabilities and health issues are often among the most bullied in schools. In fact, 8 out of 10 disabled children are bullied in school, according to a survey done in Great Britain, with 79 percent saying they were scared to go outside because they feared theyd be bullied, The Guardian reported.

"Children said they were bullied everywhere they went, on the bus, at youth centers, in parks and on the street, Dame Jo Williams, the chief executive of Mencap, told The Guardian. It happens outside the playground but also inside the school gates. Many children are too afraid to go out for fear they will be bullied."

The survey, done by charity organization Mencap, found that more than half of 500 British children with disabilities had been physically hurt by bullies. And 27 percent had been bullied for more than three years, The Guardian said.

Its not always fellow students who do the bullying, as some teachers have been outed for bullying their students. In 2011, an Ohio teacher was caught on video bullying a special-needs student, according to the "Today" show. A similar scenario happened in New Jersey that year, too, ABC News reported.

Bullying has been known to make children more anxious, stressed out and depressed, according to Childrens National Health System. It can also make children suicidal or irritable and create injuries that require medical care, CNHS reported.

Students with mental and physical disabilities are often victims of bullying because they have difficulty with social interactions.

Because of difficulties with social interaction and the inability to read social cues, children with autism and Asperger's syndrome have higher rates of peer rejection and higher frequencies of verbal and physical attacks, said Robin Kowalski, a psychology professor at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, to Ability Path, an organization that aims to support parents and children with special needs.

Ultimately, experts say it should be the teachers role to help special-needs children avoid bullies.

"If action is not taken to tackle bullying, children with a learning disability will face bullying and isolation all their lives, Williams told The Guardian.

The U.S. Department of Education has provided resources, such as outlined approaches on how teachers can create a safe classroom environment for special needs children, to help limit bullying.

Teachers may also want to address their students special needs with classmates before bullying occurs to limit possible problems in the future, says.

Educating kids and teachers about students special health needs and the dangers associated with certain actions and exposures can help keep kids safe, the site said.
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