Friday, June 29, 2007

Disability theme in comic strip "For Better Or Worse"

This comic strip has been dealing with a story line about disabilities in a school setting. April, a student who sees students with disabilities being teased in the cafeteria, speaks back to one of the bullies and her friend who has as peech impediment then gives a speech (this appeared on Monday/Tuesday's strip which you can also access from the link above). After she did this, the students offered support.

I showed this to a few high school students with disabilities and they all agreed that it's good to see bullying of kids with disabilities brought into the open for discussion. One of them really liked the ending , but another one felt it wasn't realistic because of his experiences when he tried to speak up.

However, he thought it was "realstic that April spoke up on behalf of her friend" and said he'd experienced that many times. He also said he liked the part about making a difference because it can give meaning to what happens and how he responds. He thinks that "speaking up is important even if you don't always see an impact" like it happened in the strip. He thinks sometimes " kids in high school are too busy acting cool to admit they did anything wrong in a group, but might come to a student privately and apologize".

I thought I'd share this with everyone and I want to thank the students for their feedback!

h/t Monastic Musings


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ruth, for having the resources and energy to check with the high school students. You were able to answer the one question I had as I've appreciated this story line: what would students who actually lived this experience think of it?

I've been glad for years simply that this comic included kids of different colors, and various "special needs" - Shannon, who spoke up here, has been insightful on more than one occasion. But there is always the possibility that something I think is pretty neat might strike someone who lives that reality quite differently.

Thanks to the High School students too.

Ruth said...

Actually I just happened to be working with some high schoolers this past week on a project so thought I'd run it past them. I'm glad too to see that there's a character like Shannon in a comic strip. Thanks for forwarding this - we all had a very interesting discussion which it's hard to do justice to in a post.