Teen Stands Up For Blind Student By Knocking Bully to the Ground
California school officials are facing a maelstrom of backlash from supporters outraged by news of the punishment.
A high school student was filmed knocking another teenager to the ground for bullying a blind classmate.
Reports said the student had been suspended, but officials with Huntington Beach High School District in Southern California denied this was the case on Friday afternoon.
Footage of the incident surfaced hours after the altercation on Wednesday. The video, which has since been pulled from YouTube, shows one student repeatedly beating a visually-impaired classmate on the head.
Seconds later, the video, which was recorded by a bystander, showed another teen jumping in and stopping the pummeling with one blow to the tormentor’s face, knocking the bloody boy on the ground.
“You trying to jump a f***ing blind kid, bro?” the teen is heard saying, standing over the cowering boy. “What the f*** is your problem?”
Police arrested the student responsible for the initial attack for misdemeanor battery and released him to his parents. It was determined that the that teen and the victim “have a history of not getting along,” the Huntington Beach Police Department said in a statement.
“As the victim walked past the suspect at school… and (sic) verbal argument started, which resulted in the suspect hitting victim several times. Another student saw the fight and intervened to prevent the suspect from further assaulting the victim,” police said. “No arrest is anticipated for the third student who intervened in the fight.”
Dr. Greg Plutko, superintendent of schools for the Huntington Beach Union High School District, said the incident did not reflect the caliber and environment of the school.
"The Huntington Beach school community is disappointed and discouraged by the recent bullying behavior captured on video at Huntington Beach High School," he said in a statement Friday. "We are proud of our quality high schools, and this incident does not reflect the school climates that have been built by our students, teachers, staff, and families. Behaviors like this will never be tolerated, as safety and wellness must serve at the center of student success. HBUHSD has a strong anti-bullying code of conduct, and will not condone such behaviors in our schools."
The 30-second video, which was viewed thousands of times on YouTube before it was removed, led to an outpouring of support for the teen who stopped the beating. Following reports that he had been suspended and kicked off the football team, his backers rushed to his defense.
“As the son of blind man, the defender deserves a day at Disneyland or his favorite surf break,” Bob Beamesderfer wrote on Huntingon Beach Union High School District’s Facebook page.
But on Friday, officials with the district said that the boy had never been suspended.
Plutko added that the student who came to the victim's aid was not been a member of the football team when the incident occurred.
"Of note to some has been the question of whether the student who came to the support of his classmate was removed from the HBHS football team," Plutko said. "That student was not removed from the team, as he was not on this year’s roster and has not played football since last spring."
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