An 18-year-old student at Rudder High School in Bryan, Texas, was suspended from school after he stood up for a special needs students at lunch.
Christian Tumax told KBTX-TV that he heard his friend, the special needs student, hollering behind him. When he turned around, he saw him being “harassed.”
Immediately, Tumax said he intervened and told the bullies to “be quiet and leave him alone.” School officials say there was then an exchange of words.
The incident landed him in a meeting with school officials. He was suspended later that day.
However, Tumax said he isn’t angry at school officials for doing their job.
“They had to base it off what they saw in the cameras,” the student explained. “They saw me go forward, and that’s the reason I got suspended.”
Students, on the other hand, were not pleased to see Tumax get punished for defending a special needs student. They took to Twitter and created the #FreeTumax hashtag in protest of the decision.
Bryan ISD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Wallis responded on Twitter, thanking the students for their messages and reminding them that student discipline issues are confidential.
Tumax says he was ready to get back to school and move on from the ordeal. But he also wants to encourage people to be unafraid to step up and do the right thing.
He’s certainly not sorry for what he did — and says he’d do the exact same thing if he were faced with the same situation.
“My message is, go out and help somebody. If you see it, don’t hesitate, don’t be scared. We’re all human, we all need help, and we all have demons that we’re fighting with,” he said.
School officials reportedly told him that the suspension will not go on his permanent record.