Young people with disabilities are 2-3 times more likely to be bullied than their peers without disabilities.

October is Anti-Bullying Month and the Unified Generation is coming together to create positive experiences for all within their schools and communities. Here are some of their stories….

Daina Shilts is an acclaimed Special Olympics snowboarder. She has built up her confidence and become a leader for the Special Olympics movement after overcoming challenges in school due to bullying.

 

 

A message from Yenna Chu, President of the Grafton High School Special Olympics Club

“When I was in 9th grade, I had five special education students in my art class. Nobody said hello to them and talked to them. I felt as if there were invisible walls that separated special education students from regular students. Even in some cases, I saw a special education student become hyperactive in a hallway- the student was teased and stirred up more by other students who appeared to enjoy the situation rather than help them as friends. In fact, I also experienced a bullying from some students in my sophomore year. Fortunately, I was able to overcome it before long, but the painful experience taught me how much bullying can hurt other people. Those experiences were my turning points and I decided to start Special Olympics Club in my school.

Thankfully, with the Special Olympics Club, many students with ID are able to make friends and don’t have to have lunch alone any longer. One of our club members has Down Syndrome. She became active in our club activities such as our unified morning announcement, R-word campaign and Special Holiday Party. She has been featured in our yearbook and she was crowned prom queen last year before she graduated! She is now my best friend. She is currently working at a local healthcare center. I am so proud of her! I really appreciate all the changes the Special Olympics brought into our school and me. My school has become more inclusive and accepting than ever. Other schools in our county are now following in the inclusion revolution!”

 

See photos from Graton High School’s recent “Blue Shirt Day” which students wore in support of “Anti- Bullying” Month.

One way that many students are bullied is through the use of the R-Word.

Check out how the students from Cody High School in Wyoming are spreading kindness!

 

Special Olympics Global Ambassador and NFL running back Jamaal Charles joined four Special Olympics athletes on stage at the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles in 2015.

In a moment of reflection, he revealed the impact that Special Olympics had on him as a child. “When I was ten years old, I had a chance to compete in Special Olympics,” said Charles, “That’s right – Special Olympics gave me my first chance to discover the talent that I did not know I had.” Charles invited the crowd to join him in the Special Olympics athlete oath: Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. Special Olympics gave this incredible athlete the chance to get away from the bullying he faced in school and find his incredible abilities.

Check out the full story about Jamaal HERE

What can you do to end bullying in your school?

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