In the latest of what seems to be a string of reports of students and teachers bullying the mentally challenged in America's schools, 18-year-old Stormy Rich is claiming that she has been penalized for standing up for the mentally challenged student in question.
The school maintains that Rich should not have taken matters into her own hands, though she had complained to the school for weeks about the issue, and did nothing violent.
Rich explained: "[The bullies] would be mean to her, tell her she couldn't sit on certain spots on the bus...They were giving her food that they put in their mouth. I actually had to tell her to spit it out because she didn't understand."
Riding the middle school bus despite the fact that she is 18 because she had earned enough credits to avoid a first-period class, Rich said she immediately reported the behavior to the bus driver, per protocol, and the school authorities.
However, for weeks, nothing changed.
"I would sit on the bus every single day and see the bullying was still going on and nothing was being done...It was aggravating," she said.
"When the school didn't do anything, I told the girls if the school didn't do anything, I was going to do something," Rich continued, and that is apparently what got her in trouble, and led to her being banned from that particular bus.
A Lake County Schools spokesperson clarified to FOX 35 Friday that they removed Rich from the bus because she displayed bullying behavior in sticking up for the girl.
"She said what I did made me the bully," Rich recalled incredulously, "with me telling the kids that if they didn't stop, and if the school didn't do anything, that I would have to handle it."
The school also claims that the mentally challenged person in question never complained about bullying.
Rich countered: "What kid that's being bullied goes and tells somebody? They want to have friends."
While Rich doesn't have to worry about the situation much longer-- she'll be graduating with a 3.67 GPA and studying nursing with scholarships in the fall-- she's still upset.
"I never want this to happen to anybody, I mean I know we can't save the whole world, but, at least we could try to help the people who go to [our school]."