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The article on bullying brought to bear several unspoken attributes about both the bullied and the bully. Bullying has its roots in fear – fear of someone who, in in the bully’s eyes, is different.

Lack of knowledge is another factor. A child wants to be active and accepted by his or her peers. And then someone discovers what’s different about them. Maybe he has a cleft foot (“Look, she can’t even walk straight!”). Maybe she has a learning disability (“She’s so stupid!”); and maybe she’s in a wheelchair (“She can’t do anything!”) Some children act out their fears by bullying the one they feel superior to.

I believe bullying fully resides on the back side of the discrimination coin. Sensitivity training for both kids and adults could eliminate a lot of this grief. Such sessions should also allow a child to describe what they live with.

I have seen one poignant result from having a disability or limitation: The ability of the other senses to compensate for what’s missing. I know a blind man who, after hearing a bowling ball hit the pins, can tell you which pins are standing. I know a wheelchair-bound person who has superior writing ability. And I know an epileptic whose instincts about people and situations are almost scary; and she’s seldom wrong.

Let’s first eliminate fear and ignorance. Then we can work toward eliminating bullying and discrimination.