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February 17th, 2011
09:21 AM ET

"Glee" star and Special Olympics fight bullying of special needs students

According to the British Journal of Learning Support, 60% of students with special needs reported being bullied compared to 25% of the general student population.

But Lauren Potter, the actress who plays Becky Jackson on "Glee", and Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics, are teaming up to try to stop bullying of kids with special needs. The Special Olympics, and Best Buddies are launching "Disable Bullying", a campaign designed to engage policymakers, parents and educators to stop such behavior. Potter and Shriver talk to CNN's T.J. Holmes about their new campaign.

Filed under: Bullying
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Ashley Williams

    Go Lauren!

    March 1, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  2. Linda Bishop

    Lauren you are an amazing, strong, intelligent young actress, I just wish you were here so I could hug you! Good luck with this very special project, I wish you and especially Tim the utmost courage to follow through with this impressive challenge. After years and years of bullying the mentally challenged, you would think that people would be better educated. However, I have even heard adults say the "retard" word. No wonder kids continue with this bullying when they hear their own parents so ignorantly talking this way. Bullying is so heartbreaking, the irony is that if people had a little empathy for the mentally challenged they would learn so much from them, because they are one of God's special gifts to be protected, not picked on. Lauren and Tim, I am confident that you two will make a difference!

    February 24, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  3. Vicki

    I am very thankful that my son who is also a Special Education studuent does not tolerate the behavior of his classmates who think it is ok to make fun of other students because of their disability. He will always stick up for those students as well as himself as they are no different from the students who are not Learning Disabled or Physically Challenged. All these children want is an education and to be included just like their peers. People like this should be recognized all over ALL the time. You go Girl!!

    February 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  4. Nancy Mercer

    Lauren and Tim you guys are our HEROs!!!!!!!

    February 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  5. Terri Thomas

    You are and awesome young lady! When I was younger I was picked on also!! Where I grew up we had one school and that was regular school which I didn't have much choice to go to school so I had to Ingore what they say about me!! Later In life became friends!! You go you are a wonderful young lady!! go all out for It!!

    February 18, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  6. Diana Paterson

    I watched this live this morning and was so proud of her! Bullying is everywhere in many different forms not just "special people" with different identities. Just the other day in Atlantic Super Store I overheard 2 employees talking about "dumb hillbillies". That too is an insult not only to "Northern Woodsmen" which is the correct definition, but it was visibly a insult to themselves. We all have to be careful what we say, where we say it, and to whom we are saying it. The mentality of today is to slang and put down anyone who is "not like me" attitude. It's sad and it's wrong. My own brother is "challenged" and when I hear the word "retard" in my presence I put an immediate stop to it. This needs to be done more and stop worrying about what they think because you decided to step up and defend someone else.

    February 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  7. Jackie

    I am so happy with this. As the mom of a autistic son I have been very lucky that the kids he has gone to school with have been so supportive. We have tried to always keep involved in the "normal" activities, which in turn have helped the other kids and teens understand more about special needs.

    February 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  8. Brigid Guerra

    This is awesome to hear!

    February 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  9. Deann Weese

    I have a special needs adult child. I have been blessed that my child did not have to deal with this when growing up. I have always been active in his life and stayed in close touch with his teacher and also blessed with a teacher that was in touch with what was going on with her students. The subject of bullying has been coming out in the news and forefront of society, unfortuntely, the bullying of special needs children continues to be swept under the rug and I do believe that this needs to come to the forefront also. Bullying is not just being done to "normal" kids but it has and continues to be done to special needs kids. These kids have big obsticles to overcome to begin with in life without having to be bullied also. These kids may be slower, not able to talk, hear, walk. etc, but they have feelings and can feel the hurt but not understand the whys of others. They also can be productive adults dispite of their handicaps. Years ago, there was a comedian who played for a short while on The Facts of Life and one of the character's asked, "her is Cerebral Palsy hurts," and the comedian's charater responded, "No, Cerebral Palsy does not hurt, ignorous does." Those words are as true today as they were when spoken.

    February 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  10. Bill Hurst

    Thank you for this story. Believe it or not, I was picked on at a Handicap School and treated better at a regular school. I had Polio, now have Post Polio Sydrome. I used humor to keep from letting them see how much they hurt me, then went home and felt bad. The story on Special Olympics. Again, thank you.

    February 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  11. Deborah Stephens

    Lauren Potter you are courageous!

    February 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm |