West Milford Twp. High School
67 Highlander Drive
West Milford, NJ 07480
November 3, 2016
Future President at the White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Future President,
Hi, I’m Collin, from West Milford, New Jersey. I want to talk about a personal issue that also impacts not just my family, but others, too. I have seen that people bully blind people. It bothers me that they look down upon them just because they have no sight. They are still great people at heart, but I want to calm down some of these immature actions those people do.
As seen on www.chateline.com, which has many stories, but one is about this blind girl about her experiences about being blind, and bullied. She goes in depth about when she started becoming blind, to where she is now. She says that bullies consider them as “easy targets.” Even her teachers, made her do these tasks that blind people can’t do at all. When she became the new girl in a blind school, she was bullied for just being new, or how she explains it, “just being targeted.” On www.wonderbaby.org, they say that most bullies bully the blind for satisfaction.
As a result of being blind and bullied, like the girl previously mentioned on www.chateline.com, leave school. Like some people who aren’t blind, after being bullied for quite some time, will fall into depression, and possibly think or even try to commit suicide. www.tsbvi.edu says that everyone, especially blind students, will have high amounts of physical, and emotional pain. They also say that bullying could lead to fear, humiliation, and even embarrassment. As said by both www.wonderbaby.org and www.tsbvi.edu, a study, made in 2005, conducted by University of Bristol in Britian, states that 35% - 40% of 7-8 year olds who wear glasses, will be more likely to be a victim of bullying. Most blind people, especially blind students, must wear glasses to hopefully increase their sight a little bit so that they could make out what’s in front of them.
As a brother of a blind person, who isn’t a student anymore, this topic affects me a lot. People would just look over his shoulder to just look at him, and the cane he holds. People would trip over his 58 inch cane that is white and red. Kids would jump over his cane, like it’s a jump rope, or a game. After telling this teenager to stop jumping over his cane like a chimpanzee, i purposely raised his cane that he would fall on the ground, I didn’t even say sorry. Of course, my brother was expecting that I would do something along the lines of that. My brother was never bullied by fellow students, but some of his teachers did not understand that he could not see. They never even let him finish classwork for homework, where he could figure out what the questions asked! My parents sometimes had to fight the school to get him on field trips, or even for him to have help to get around the school. I remember one story that the principal of the middle school of that time said, “He can’t come because he would take out other students’ and teachers’ time to enjoy the field trip.” My mother even volunteered to be his guide, but then the principal said, “No parents are allowed on field trips. No exceptions.” However, they asked for chaperones for the same exact field trip! Bullies have their own perspective about this. A girl who bullied the blind girl who was talked about on www.chateline.com, didn’t know how much she hurt the blind girl. After a speech the blind girl did, a friend of that bully told the blind girl she wished for forgiveness because she didn’t realize how much her actions affected her. The blind girl forgave the bully, but nothing much about that was said afterwards.
I want something to be done, both in and out of school. For in school, I think we could put in CCTVs (Closed-Circuit Television). CCTVs help blind students see, or at least make out what the questions on the paper say. Another thing is have hired guides for the blind in the school. They would guide them to their classes, get to their buses, even go up and down the stairs. Also, if we can’t put in CCTVs, we could have guides say the questions to the student. Public guides could help blind people, if they can’t, or don’t have family members to guide them. Public guides will also help younger blind people, that can’t go to colleges or high schools for the blind, help them learn to listen for any cars, or for, what was recently added to stop lights, the countdowns on the street lights. We could also add more handicapped buses to the public, and maybe have some for the school districts. This could help blind people, even other kids with different special needs get home, or to their destination faster.
What I hope you will do as the next president of the United States, is to notice the bullies bullying the blind. I feel that this could make the United States a better place to live for the blind people. Blind students would have a constant guide to watch them to see if they will get bullied. If the blind person could have help that they need, they would feel safer and better about themselves. Despite their disabilities, they are still human beings that need to have support. I would like to thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Student, West Milford High School