CASE STUDIES CLARA
Case studies Clara – Harassment because of a person’s disability
Clara – Harassment because of a person’s disability
Clara is a girl with an eye disease that will get worse and worse as she gets older. A teacher at Clara’s school knew about this disease and spoke about it in front of the whole class. The teacher did not ask Clara for permission to talk about it. Clara’s teacher said that everyone should feel sorry for Clara. She said things like: ‘Clara is a girl who wants to be pitied because she has an eye disease’. At another time the teacher questioned Clara’s disability and suggested she didn’t think it was ‘as bad as Clara was pretending it to be’. As a result of these comments Clara became the target of school yard bullying. Clara was very upset and didn’t want to go to school.
Clara’s mother made disability harassment complaint to AHRC. At conciliation the teacher apologised for the hurt she had caused and the school agreed for all its teachers to go to disability awareness training.
CASE STUDIES PATRICK
Case studies Patrick – Bullying a student because of their disability
Patrick has an intellectual disability. For a couple of months a group of boys at his school called him names like ‘Idiot’ and ‘Dumbo’ in front of his class and his teacher. The teacher ignored what the boys were saying. Patrick was very hurt by what the boys were saying. He even asked the teacher to help him out, but the teacher said not to worry about it and that it was a normal part of being at school. It was only after Patrick’s parents had a meeting with the principal and the teacher that the situation was fixed. The teacher and principal agreed to run an anti-bullying programs, discipline the boys and to notify all students and their parents about the seriousness of bullying. They also agreed to update their rules on harassment and bullying and to put a copy up on the school noticeboard.