Kids Dump 'Deaf' Teen's Backpack In The Toilet — Other Students Unite To Show Him He's Not Alone
Oct 14, 2021 by apost team
High school can be a difficult time for any teenager. Whether it's growing up from being a child or having to think about the adult years that await you after you finish, high school is well known for the trials and tribulations that accompany that period of our lives.
And that's all without even mentioning bullies. Unfortunately, back in 2016 one high schooler by the name of Alex Hernandez had a run-in with two bullies at his school that nearly made him lose his faith in humanity.
On that Wednesday in 2016, Hernandez, who had been deaf since he was 1-year-old, realized that his backpack was missing during his lunch break. The realization left him heartbroken as not only did his bag contain his tablet, debit card, homework and school books, but it also had his cochlear implant.
Hernandez immediately reported that his bag was missing to the Omaha Public School's administrators. The school had no leads so they were forced to review the security footage. Soon enough, it was revealed that two boys had taken his backpack and dumped it in the toilet. Shaken by the incident, Hernandez said he didn't know either of the culprits but their actions felt like a personal attack on him.
The damage was not only psychological, but by throwing his bag in the toilet they'd ruined his homework and an English project that had taken him several sleepless nights to complete, as well as other personal items.
The school immediately took action and after identifying the boys they interrogated them. The boys claimed to not know that Hernandez was deaf, but nonetheless, one boy was suspended while the other was put under the school's watch.
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Despite the school's disciplinary actions, Hernandez's mom wasn't satisfied with how things went. Speaking to local station KMTV, she said:
"They need to be reminded that there are consequences to stealing and bullying. Today was my kid — tomorrow will be somebody else’s.”
Meanwhile, Hernandez had some admonishing words for the two bullies. He told KMTV in another interview:
"Those students think it's okay to bully a deaf student, but it's not. It's not okay to bully someone who is disabled, deaf, or hard of hearing. Or anyone for that matter."
Even more heartbreaking is the fact that ultimately, Hernandez felt unsafe to go back to school after the incident. Having been bullied for his disabilities before, he told the news station in the same interview:
"This just got out of hand. There's too much bullying, too much drama, too much fighting, it’s just not nice."
But on a positive note, Hernandez's fellow students came together in a show of support and started a GoFundMe page for him to recuperate the cost of his ruined belongings. After his story went viral, he also had the support of people he'd never met reaching out to him. He told KMTV:
"I wanted to thank all of my friends and those who wrote me for supporting me. I am very happy. It made me feel like I am not alone."
Despite this, Hernandez still wanted to transfer schools with the aim of attending Ralston High School instead. His mom backed his decision, telling the news station:
"It's his decision. I support him no matter what. I definitely don't want him going to that school if he doesn't feel safe."
This story is a heartbreaking one, even if Alex Hernandez's classmates did come together to help him after what happened. What would you say to him to offer encouragement? Pass this story on to raise awareness about bullying and its far-reaching effects.