The class I am thinking about here is a first-grade class of a middle school. So, we are talking about pupils between ten and eleven years of age. There are 25 students in the class 12 of them are boys 11 of them are girls. The class is not that diverse but there are six pupils with a migration background. The classroom is decorated by a few former presentations and achievements of former students. The school is well equipped with everything a disabled person would need. Special bathrooms, a ramp for wheelchairs, an elevator and a ramp that can carry one up upstairs. Furthermore, the school has a few integration teachers who can function as shadows because there have been a few pupils who had problems with the German language and these teachers were here to support them.
Although the school is equipped for pupils with special needs there has never been a student with special needs attending class in this school. So, the scenario now is that a girl in a wheelchair with myatrophy will join the class mentioned above. Of course, there is a shadow supporting her, writing down all the subjects when she is to weak and tried to follow the lesson. Yet, this is not enough. There are still multiple questions open.
What about bullying?
The school should establish a no tolerance policy on bullying. Not only against disabled persons but in general. You can get one strike but strike two is a strikeout. There is also an “Anti-Bullying-Consultant” at school. This would by the way also establish new jobs at multiple schools. This person is an expert in this field. His or her job is it to measure the extent of a bully case and decide if there should be a strike/ strikeout or even a straight expulsion from school. Bullying is and should not be welcome at schools. Due to the fact that everyone has the right of proper education and one way to offer qualitative education is to establish an environment in which students feel save. It might sound harsh but this is something essential to establish a healthy surrounding for the pupils.
How to integrate the new student?
As the headteacher I would add her to a peer group. This group has the job to show her around help her getting used to her new environment. Maybe even include her into a group with more popular students those alpha pupils who rule the school. Yet, the focus shouldn’t only be on the new student else she might get too anxious or nervous and we don’t want that.
It is important that every student develops in their own pace. So, if they are days on which she can’t participate a shadow has to be part of the team. Furthermore, additional exam dates should be offered if the disabled student is not feeling well enough to take the exam. However, the student should get enough help from her surrounding so that the lesson for the other students is not being interrupted too often.
To sum up, disabled students need a lot of help from their teachers and colleagues. Thus, it is more than just important that there are integration teachers at every school. Bullying shouldn’t be tolerated does not matter if the victim is disabled or not. Every pupil has the right to develop themselves in a save environment. It might cost some extra money to equip schools with everything they need to educate but this money should be here that is the reason why we are paying taxes.