An Iowa mother has pleaded with officials Melcher-Dallas High School to do more to stop the alleged bullying against her 13-year-old autistic son. Shockingly, some parents are actually defending the bullying, while the school's principal says it's up to the students to handle it.
"People tell me to run into things and I don’t really like it. And I tell them that I don’t want to and they just laugh at me, whenever I do it," Levi Null, 13, told WHO-TV. The boy, who suffers from Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD, has reportedly been bullied for years.
The boy's mother, Dawn Simmons, says kids hit her son "upside the head" and smack him. She claims teachers are aware of the bullying, but "a lot of them turn their backs."
Simmons also revealed that kids even post videos online showing Levi's reaction to his medications.
"There were other kids in the class watching this happen. You can see it on the video. And nobody even admitted to seeing it. The teacher was in the classroom and never admitted to seeing it happen. It’s horrible that nobody’s doing anything about this," the mother said.
In a follow-up interview, the father of the student who posted the video to humiliate Levi said what his son did was wrong, but argued the bullied teen brings most of it on himself.
"Yes he does,” the father, Levi Weatherly, said. "I would say three-fourths of this stuff he brings on himself and and probably a fourth of it is bullying that shouldn’t be going on."
Weatherly is apparently not alone in his assessment of the bullying.
Local resident Jamie Harrison told WHO-TV that Levi called his nephew a "nasty name" and so his nephew punched him in the mouth. "I'm proud of my nephew for doing that," he added.
Autism specialist Evelyn Horton said members of the community appear to misunderstand what autism is.
"Individuals with autism don’t have the ability to turn it off and turn it on," she said. "They may sometimes respond to the environment that they’re in and respond more strongly than they may at other times."
Meanwhile, Melcher-Dallas High School principal Josh Ehn told the news station that it's ultimately up to the students to put an end to the bullying.
"We try our best to educate our staff, educate our students to react to the cases and investigate the cases that we have but ultimately it’s gotta come down to the kids to take ownership of this and to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves," he explained.
(H/T: Yahoo! News)