Bullying is becoming a bigger and bigger problem every day. From cyber-bullying, to physical harm, to emotional distress, kids everywhere are being unfairly targeted.
For Alex Hernandez, the bullying hit an entirely new level when the contents of his backpack were dumped into a toilet at school.
The backpack contained his tablet, homework, debit card, and school supplies. It also contained a battery for his cochlear implant, something he needs to hear.
Hernandez has been deaf since he was 1 year old, and says he has faced bullying everyday of his life because of it. But this latest act of bullying was too far.
"This just got out of hand. There's too much bullying, too much drama, too much fighting, it's just not nice," Hernandez said.
Hernandez had left his backpack on a chair in the cafeteria while he went to get food, but someone stole it while he was gone. After reporting it to school authorities, security footage showed two boys taking the bag and running away with it. A fellow student later found the bag in a toilet. Hernandez says he didn't know who the boys were, but he wants to find out so he can talk to them.
"I just want to talk to them; I don't want to fight them," he said. "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 says this incident has left him feeling unsafe to return to school. His school board has released a statement following the incident:
"We are aware of the situation that occurred at Burke earlier this week. We take these kind of situations very seriously. Due to student privacy laws, we are unable to provide specific details regarding the situation, but we do want to assure you that we are working with all parties involved. The situation was an isolated incident. [We] strive to provide a safe learning environment for all students. Here are some of the steps we take to prevent bullying:
- Bullying protocol information is included in the OPS due process handbook
- Bullying prevention and positive relationship lessons are embedded in various curriculum areas throughout a student's academic career.
- Any student or parent who suspects bullying, should contact their building administrator immediately."
A GoFundMe page was setup to help Alex and his family pay to replace the contents of the bag. It has since been closed after reaching their goal of $800.