Dozens of people from Ohio's Bay and other communities turned out Friday evening to promote tolerance and show their support for a teen who was the victim of a fake ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The cruel prank has sparked outrage across the county. Actor, comedian and game show host Drew Carey is a Cleveland native. He was disgusted by the ‘prank‘ and has offered via Twitter to donate $10,000 as either a reward to find the bullies or a donation to autism advocacy organization Autism Speaks. Video of the unbelievable act was released at the request of the 15-year-old’s parents to raise awareness.
The autistic student thought he was taking the ice bucket challenge to raise money for ALS research, but his classmates dumped a bucket of human waste and cigarette butts on him instead, his parents said.
The family of the victim reported the incident to Bay police. Those involved are believed to be Bay High classmates of the teenager.
At the rally, local supporters chanted "No Hate in Bay" and "No room for hate." The rally was organized by Bay High graduate Elizabeth Sweeney and her sister, Sarah Sweeney.
"We wanted something positive to come out of a horrible act," said Elizabeth Sweeney. "We got an overwhelming response from everyone."
Bay Village Superintendent Clint Keener said he was proud of the way that Bay High students had responded after hearing about the incident and said the students have collected money for the ALS Association and for Autism Speaks.
Police said Friday afternoon in a press release that they are "working closely with the Bay Schools, analyzing the device used to record the video, interviewing witnesses, determining exactly where and when this occurred and identifying those involved. Preliminary information suggests this occurred prior to the start of the school year at a home in Bay Village."