School That Allowed Students to Bully Autistic Kid Is Reprehensible

school busWe expect bullies to target the weak and the small. That kind of cowardice is what makes them bullies in the first place, hence the classic refrain: "Why don't you pick on somebody your own size?" But bullies who go after kids with autism ... that's the lowest form of cowardice I can think of.

The Elkton Middle School student who viciously beat 11-year-old Kaleb Kula at his Maryland bus stop falls into this category. So do the kids who stood around cheering for Kula's attacker, yelling things like "Yo, beat the sh**t out of him!" Disgusting.

What they did next, however, was just plain stupid.

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Somebody (none of the kids involved in the incident have been identified) uploaded that horrible footage to Facebook.

The question is, why? I'd like to think that maybe one of the kids had an attack of conscience and posted the video because he secretly wanted to get caught. Because the alternatives just make the entire episode even more disturbing: Either the bully/bullies were proud of beating up Kula, or they truly had such little regard for their victim as a human being that they saw nothing wrong with treating the footage as entertainment. "Check this out, so funny!"

If Kaleb Kula was my son, I'd be sick at heart over this shocking abuse. Especially since this has happened before: Kula's parents say their son has been bullied for years, but despite their repeated requests for help, the school never did anything to stop it.

If those claims are true, the school needs to be held responsible for Kaleb Kula's pain and suffering. That's an unforgivable level of neglect. Who's to say they won't let this happen again? And how do they plan on making this up to the Kula family?

At least the police are on the case, now -- the boy who hit Kula in the video has been charged as a juvenile with second-degree assault.

But Kula will never forget his horrible experience, not if his comments are any indication:

"I'm going to try to put this behind me, but then it's going to come running back in front of me and confront me again. That's what I think will happen. It's like a groundhog trying to run from its shadow."

Heartbreaking.

Do you think the school should be held responsible for this terrible bullying incident?

 

Image via Gerry Dincher/Flickr

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