Image: YouTube Courtesy of Stephen Davis
These kinds of stories really anger me.
A news report out of Chicago a few days ago is most disturbing, as it details how a special needs high school student was not only repeatedly teased and bullied by his classmates, but how one of his teachers joined in, and jumped on the bandwagon.
More specifically, during a math class, one of the students drew a cartoon on the smartboard of a particularly repugnant character, replete with disgusting hygiene. The student then took the drawing, and analogized it to a special needs student in the class, who was often ridiculed for his looks and being overweight.
The students laughed.
The teacher then took it further, and put a caption beneath the picture stating: "Stephen's ugly ---."
Sounds hard to believe that this could happen in 2015, no?
Well, guess again, because this student had finally had enough of it - and he recorded the entire thing.
Ironically, YouTube later removed the video from its site as violative of its policy which prohibits content that is intended to harass or bully others.
If you, or a loved one, is being repeatedly bullied, and even as matters escalate you are concerned that no one will believe you (because everyone else seems to be siding against you), gather all the evidence you can. In this instance, the student did a marvelous job of recording the teacher all too happily joining in on the bullying.
What Happens Now
Obviously, what we want, as parents, is that nothing like this bullying should ever happen - to any student. Recording this proof - which, I am sure, is what caught the media's attention - is the first step in getting real change to happen.
First, I would be shocked if that teacher isn't fired, or at least severely disciplined.
Second, it forces that school district to take a serious look at a huge problem in their schools, where this kind of behavior by students - let alone faculty - was not only allowed, but encouraged.
Third, and unfortunately, the impetus for this introspection by the school district is only likely to occur because they are probably going to have to pay a significant sum of money to this teenager (and/or his parents) for their failure to provide him with a safe school environment.
I hope this student gets some well-deserved justice in his fight to maintain his dignity and peace of mind.