My name is Tracie Khazmo and the title of my project is Decreasing Bullying through Disability Awareness. I am arguing that when a school incorporates a disability awareness program to their existing bully program, there will be a decrease in the bullying episodes among students with exceptionalities. There is a plethora of research showing the effectiveness of bully prevention programs; however, many of these bully prevention programs do not address the issues inherent in the special education environment. I became interested in this topic because I have family members who are on the special education spectrum. Moreover, I have witnessed first-hand the effects of an absence of disability awareness within the school setting. I have seen students overtly ridiculed as well as typically developing peers engaged in mannerism that reflect a negative attitude towards the student with a disability. Additionally, school settings in general may lack an environment of inclusion for students with disabilities. Therefore, as a future special education teacher, I will collaborate with school staff to develop awareness for all students to ensure that the students under my care receive a safe and nurturing learning environment.
On a weekly basis, I do research on the field of bullying and disability awareness. I also work occasionally in the elementary schools and have observed the behavior of typically developing students towards students with exceptionalities. In addition, I am currently reaching out to local area schools to gain approval to conduct my study.
The one thing that I learned this week is to take one thing at a time. My focus this semester is my project and I want to enjoy the process of learning and being able to add to this important conversation.