Teacher's cruel task for bullied child with special needs
A BOY with special needs was forced by his teacher to create a poster that listed the reasons why his classmates didn't like him.
It was then stuck up on his classroom wall, for everyone to see.
Caien Powell, 10, from the UK, had previously complained to his teacher that he was being bullied by his classmates.
But instead of addressing Caien's bullies, he was forced to sit and listen as his classmates told him why they disliked him.
Caien lives with ADHD and is also listed on the UK Special Education Needs Register.
His father, Damian Lightoller, told the Observer he and his partner were stunned when their son brought home his poster earlier this month.
When asked to explain why he had made the poster, Caien said that, after his bullies were finished outlining the reasons why he annoyed them so much, his teacher made him list those reasons in a hand-drawn poster.
His carefully drawn and coloured sheet was then put up in the classroom for the remainder of the school term.
But it was the contents of the poster that left Caien's family heartbroken.
The poster features a sketch of Caien with a thought-bubble on the side of his head that says: "How can I get the other children to like me?"
BE HAPPY NOT SAD
According to Caien, he was told by his peers to "be happy, not sad", "stop shouting" and "stop annoying us".
His furious father told the UK newspaper his son had approached his behaviour mentor to ask for help after he was bullied and "was upset the other children don't like him".
"So, to try to tackle this, his (behaviour mentor's) idea was apparently to find out why the other children didn't like him," Mr Lightoller said.
"So he sat Caien down, asked the other children why they didn't like him and tried to tell Caien to change those things."
According to Mr Lightoller, Caien tried to ask for help in a situation that was causing him extreme stress but was let down in the process.
"My son sought help from a teacher, and rather than discipline the other children for bullying, (the mentor) blamed the victim and said, 'Well, you need to not do this, this, this and this'," he said.
After complaining to the administration, Mr Lightoller claimed the school's principal described the session as "restorative justice".
According to Mr Lightoller, both he and his partner are "furious, upset and hurt" by their son's ordeal and his school's response.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission