Teen Banned From School Bus for Defending Bullied Special Needs Kid

OMG 113

stormy richA teenager tried to do the right thing and got punished for it. High school senior Stormy Rich got banned from the school bus after reporting the bullying of a special needs student.

For months, Rich watched as they treated a mentally challenged middle school girl cruelly, telling her she couldn't sit in certain spots and feeding her food they had put in their mouths. "Just because she doesn't understand doesn't mean that should be happening to her," said the Umatilla High School student, who was riding a later middle school bus because she didn't have a first period class. 

When the bus driver did nothing, the horrified 18-year-old took her complaint to school officials. She and her mother both wrote formal letters but weeks went by with no response.

More from The Stir: Kid Suspended for Body Slamming Bully Is a Hero

In her frustration, Rich told the bullies if the school wouldn't do anything about it, she would. That's when officials finally got involved, telling her she could no longer ride the bus because she was displaying bullying behavior. Their stance: two wrongs don't make a right. They went on to say they didn't get involved because the girl supposedly being picked on never complained herself and that she is capable of doing so.

Sorry, I'm not buying that excuse for a failure to act on behalf of a special needs student -- or any student for that matter. How many times have we seen victims of bullying remain silent out of fear. And in this case, it is unclear if the girl really understood what was happening to her. Does that make it any less wrong? At the very least, they should have looked into the matter.

It was appallingly irresponsible to dismiss Rich's complaints. Then to punish her for standing up for a girl she didn't think could stand up for herself is both shocking and sad. How can we teach our kids to do the right thing when the adults they come face to face with do not.

Were school officials wrong for banning Stormy Rich from the bus?


behavior, bullies, school


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Julia Carswell Sweitzer

WHAT...this is what is wrong with society today, we as parents teach or kids right from wrong and teach them to help others as they would want to be helped, and then a bunch of morons tell this girl she can no longer ride the bus for helping a mentally challeneged kid...I dont think its the kid that mentally challenged here...my god

Tracy Shannon

This is disgusting. How mny times do we tell our students and kids tht standing by silently is just as wrong as the action itself? How could the school do this to her? I m telling you,  I am more and more ashamed to be part of this country's educational system.

Teresa Rose Dye

I totally agree that this girl should not be banned. But, we must ALL be cognitive and conscious of what words we choose when trying to right a situation. It is not always what you say but how you say it. Don't get me wrong, I am in agreement that this was a HUGE injustice. Actions sometimes scream louder than words (as in the bullies) but not when the girl insinuated a threat. It is a narrow line.

Mommy... Mommy2Tamara

Idiots..  They seriously need to clean house in that district.  

I would hope that should my child ever get bullied there's a Stormy there and I would be proud to have a daughter like her.  Such a strong, smart, compassionate young lady.    I'm sure she will be very successful where ever life may take her.  



Momto... MomtoDavid

my 6 year old is mildly autistic and while he is very smart, there are just some things he don't understand. He doesn't understand personal space and social cues and things that just come natually to others he has to learn. He also likes to mimic people. If he sees a kid doing something, he thinks it's ok to do it too. I can see a bully showing him something bad to do so he does it. And I hope if that ever happens then there is someone like this girl to stand up for him. I hope the special needs girl's parents come to her defense because i know i would

Sheila Evans-Bethel

"They went on to say they didn't get involved because the girl supposedly being picked on never complained herself and that she is capable of doing so." That's complete and total BS!!!! My son has a form of  high-functioning autism and he so desperately wants friends that he won't call out the bullies. He gets confused and has a hard time self-advocating for himself. And our school recognizes that there are kids who totally take advantage of this with him. Only recently have we been able to get him to start self-advocating. THESE CHILDREN NEED ADVOCATES!!! God bless you, Stormy, and your parents, too. And shame on the school officials and bus driver for not knowing better! Geez. If I were Stormy or her parents, I'd be looking up the special needs girl's parents and letting them know what's going on. Another red flag on FL schools, imo. 

Eva Vann


Susan Rodriguez

this is beyond disturbing and this school and its faculty/and or administration should be addressed immediatly..we teach our children to not pick on other people and to respect eachother however we also teach our children to defend what is right and to stick up for yourself this girl was merely defending someone else whom was not able to defend herself and being penalized unrightfully ....HELP ME HOWARD

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