My son is nearly twelve years old and has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. On the outside, he looks like every other child his age. On the inside, however, he is different. He lacks certain social skills and also has disabilities in reading and writing. When pushed to perform the tasks of reading and writing, he becomes overwhelmed and gets angry. Beginning in 2nd Grade, my son was bullied by other children at his school and particularly a certain group. Many times he came home with bruises all over his arms and chest. I would learn from his older sister that some of the instances happened on the bus. Many happened at the school as well.
I repeatedly contacted the school and reported the instances of bullying. Because of my sons disability, I was told that it was my son who was instigating the bullying or that when he talked to the principal, he was laughing about the bullying. My son was terrified of his school principal and the bullies and would not "rat" them out for fear of retaliation. I reported numerous instances in 2nd grade, and then in third grade things worsened. I was repeatedly told the instances were my son's fault and he was almost removed from the bus.
When fourth grade rolled around, I started paying even closer attention to the things that were happening. My son was being suspended repeatedly for his behaviors, but upon questioning him, I would learn that he was being pushed in to doing activities by his teachers and they were turning their backs on bullying instances in the bathroom and other areas of the school such PE or art class. This is also when I learned of my son's fear of his principal and that the principal had drug him down the halls of the school to get my son to his office. All of the bullying caused my son to want to run away and he did run from the school many times. It eventually got so bad that he tried to stab his principal with a math compass. I had had enough and removed him from the school and sought private schooling for my son that would work with his disability.
I also decided to remove my other children from the school and placed them in a neighboring district due to the instances. It was the best decision I ever made for my children. I watched the Bully movie on Netflix recently and wanted to scream at the parents who went in to the principals office and came out with no answers. You have to stand up for your children and don't sit down until you get some solid answers. It's also important to remind your children not to be a bully back. I can't go in to any details, but trust me, we won for our son and our other children. Even better, we helped implement some changes at that school that will positively impact other children that still attend school there.