Bullying of disabled people has been an issue in Ireland and all over the world for many years. Now several students with mobility restrictions have taken to social media to have their voices heard. They have also encouraged people in similar situations to speak out and be confident.
Sam from Kilkenny wrote on his blog: “I was made fun of by one boy when at school. The bulk of the abuse was simply because I spend my life in a wheelchair. The bullying went so far as him pushing me while I was in my chair. Now I am out of school and want people who suffer similar incidents to know that you are not alone. I stayed silent when I should have told someone. Be a stronger person than I was and find the strength to stand up for what is right.”
This blog post was spread and shared a significant number of times and has had responses from other disabled people who also want their voices heard. This includes students like Maria who has cerebral palsy. She wrote: “Peeps sic used to make fun of me cos of the way I talked and stuff. Couldn’t help it. It is part of my condition. It is so wrong of people to pick on those who can’t defend them self. I wish I had the courage to tell them to go away and have more confidence. Maybe peeps reading this with the same condition as me will learn from my story.”
Social media has been publicized and publicly criticized for being a way for bullies to further taunt their victims anonymously. However, judging by these posts it is also a medium where those who were once bullied can stand up for what they believe in and give others the strength to tell someone of their struggles.