A deaf student in Nebraska has recently been the target of bullying at his high school.
Alex Hernandez, a student at Burke High School, has been deaf since he was 1 year old. He is no stranger to bullying, having been through years of relentless teasing for his disability, but this recent incident has taken it to a new level.
According to KMTV, Hernandez left his backpack on his seat in the cafeteria while getting food. When he returned, his backpack was missing. He informed school officials, who then reviewed surveillance videos and found two male students walking away with Hernandez’s backpack. His backpack was later found shoved in a toilet.
Unfortunately, his backpack contained several important items, including his schoolwork, tablet, cochlear implant, and debit card. Many have expressed their outrage after the incident and have spoken out about bullying those with disabilities. Burke High School student Devon Fuller says that the incident “absolutely sickened him." Hernandez claims he does not know the boys who took his backpack, but added he would like to discuss the matter with them and their parents.
"I just want to talk to them; I don’t want to fight them. I want to talk it out. And talk to their parents about them so they can tell them they need to teach them the right thing to do," Hernandez said.
The school district has released a statement regarding the incident, stating that the two boys will be disciplined.
"Due to student privacy laws, we are unable to provide specific details regarding students involved or any disciplinary actions that may have been taken, but we do want to assure you that we are working with all parties involved and their parents…Appropriate disciplinary action are being taken with students involved with the theft."
Though the school district did not provide information on the disciplinary actions, Hernandez’s mom says that one of the students was suspended while the other was being investigated. She is also planning to file a police report and transferring her son, who now feels unsafe at Burke, to another high school, KMTV reported.
Many have rallied behind Hernandez, sharing their bullying stories in an attempt to prove that it is still a major issue in schools today.
According to the National Center for Statistics, in 2015, one out of every four students reported being bullied during the school year. Though schools are continually taking steps to prevent bullying, it is still a problem.
Hernandez has received overwhelming support from classmates as well as community members. A GoFundMe page has been set up to replace some of the items damaged. The $800 goal has been surpassed in 4 days.
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