That treasure trove of goodies, Shakespeare's Sister, yesterday raised as its question of the day "regretted unkindness".
The stories are frequently touching and many are familiar, from both the perspective of experiencing it and dishing out the unkindness.
From my experience it seems that 'inclusive education' has come back round full circle - though for different reasons now than then: back then children were placed in mainstream education because the disabilities were often not spotted or supported; now they are an are actively included (yeah... right... nothing to do with costs of providing specialist support).
Anyway the post got me thinking about my own school days in junior school (aged 10-12) with a girl the year above me. Deborah eventually transferred from our school to a 'Special School', but during the two years I was in her class, she made my life hell. I don't really know if being 'backward' as it was then called was an excuse for her destructive personality or was caused by it. All I knew was that she could pick on me endlessly, following me round, cornering me, pulling my hair, stealing my scarf and gloves, trashing my bag, sometimes just screaming at me, and then as quick as anything her learning disability personality would come back out and she would cry and claim it was me that did this to her. And I couldn't bear to be completely honest with everyone because I knew that she couldn't really help being as she was and she needed extra support and teaching (and she wasn't getting it in our class). But I would come home each weekend longing for the weekend to drag as much as possible - remember folks, I was a geeky hard-working pupil who actually liked learning - simply because the weekend gave me two whole days of not having to cope with her. I would, literally bang my head on the wall of my bedroom to give myself a headache to get out of going to school some days.
My regret? I should have made more of an effort because when she left I joined all those choruses of vengeful glee that smelly Deborah with her inability to learn the 2x table had gone to the other school. There is nothing so wicked as the relationships of children, and nothing like looking back to highlight growing up.