Autistic boy beat up at the bus stop while peers watch and cheer; One posts video on Facebook
Maryland sixth grader says he's been bullied for years
The horrified parents of an autistic sixth grader watched video of their son being pummeled by a peer after another student posted the disturbing footage on Facebook.
The 11-year-old boy, Kaleb Kula, says he’s been bullied for years at Elkton Middle School in Maryland, local station WMAR-TV reported.
The video, recorded on a student’s cell phone, shows Kula and other students standing near a school bus stop.
“Yo, beat the s——— out of him, this is going on YouTube!” one student shouts, before an unidentified boy mercilessly attacks Kula, punching him in the head.
“I knew I was probably going to get injured,” said Kula. “I wasn’t really scared because I knew what would happen.”
Kula, who has been diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, told the station he just has a “bad reputation” at school.
His parents say they’ve repeatedly requested help from the school to stop the bullying.
“At least kids that don’t have special needs can defend themselves a little bit more,” his father James Kula said. “He’s pretty much defenseless.”
Kula says his peers taunt him daily, calling him “homosexual,” but the punishment is often physical, too.
“They try kicking me, pushing me, punching me, and a lot of other things,” he told WMAR-TV.
The student who taped the beatdown posted it on his Facebook page, where Kula’s parents watched it.
“It feels terrible as a parent to watch that happen to your son,” said his mother, Jessica Kula. “And I just can’t believe that kids can be so mean.”
School officials say they’re bringing parents together to discuss bullying among students. According to police, the student who hit Kula was charged as a juvenile with second-degree assault.
As for Kula, he says he’s trying to move on, but worries the bullying is a relentless cycle.
“I’m going to try to put this behind [me], but then it’s going to come running back in front of me and confront me again,” he said to WMAR-TV. “That’s what I think will happen. It’s like a groundhog trying to run from its shadow.”