I’m an instructional paraprofessional. Pretty much I’m a substitute TA for disabled kids. I was working at an elementary school yesterday, and when I got there, one of the other aides was telling me about which kids were notorious for being trouble. They pointed out one rather large 5th grader as being the worst behaviorally.
Recess comes along, and the special ed students get their own little playground that’s separated from the main one with a chain link fence. One of the 2nd garters, this tiny little girl who was one of the friendliest kids I’ve ever worked with, was up against the fence talking to three kids on the other side.
I was keeping a general eye on the entire playground, and from a distance, it looked like she was just making friends, so I thought nothing of it. But a few minutes later, I heard sobbing and boisterous laughter from that corner. I looked over and realized that they were making fun of the girl so I started to head over and settle it. But before I made it five steps, I see the big kid barreling down towards the girl screaming at the top of his lungs. It was some medieval battlecry.
Anyway, the bullies take off, rightfully terrified. And once I get over there and make sure she’s okay, big dude has his hand on her shoulder with the most satisfied grin on his face. And just to clarify, both of these kids have issues speaking up and associating words with actions or ideas. But the girl just kinda smiles and the guy says in his deep, slurred speech, “Frieeeend,” and they go off to do their thing.
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