Sadly these days, too many folks feel the things they value are becoming tainted.
To name just a few of the disappointments: NSA snooping, IRS targeting, Obamacare, Benghazi lying, Christians attacked, public school failure.
This is how I felt when I heard about Christian Stanfield, a 15-year-old boy whose story has mostly flown under the national media radar. Christian — diagnosed with comprehension delay, anxiety disorders, and ADHD — was the victim of bullying by fellow students in his special-education math class at South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pa.
He has a low processing speed and some people get frustrated by that — frustrated enough evidently to torment him.
In an attempt to get help, Christian used his iPad to record his harassers.
It didn’t work. Those doing the bullying were not disciplined.
Instead, the school principal and superintendent contacted police because they thought Christian had violated wiretapping laws. Indeed, he was cited and convicted of disorderly conduct for making the recording.
Christian explained why he made the tape, which documented bullies making vulgar comments about him, “I wanted some help. This wasn’t just a one-time thing. This always happens every day in that class.”
I get why the school tried to hide their lack of protection of bullied students. I don’t get why a court in the United States of America would punish him for making a record, getting proof of his tormentors so that someone would help him.
Thankfully, charges have been dropped. However, the damage has been done.
Christian has been traumatized tremendously. He has lost weight, requires therapy, misses school, and has become a perpetrator — instead of the victim.
The topper is that this young man doesn’t want revenge. His mother, Shea is quoted, “What I want is for heads to roll. But he said to me, ‘Mom, it might make you feel better if people get fired, but that won’t change anything.’ He said there needs to be more compassion for people.”
Police have cameras now to document all traffic stops.
I assume that is to protect themselves from false accusations and have documented evidence for trials.
A 15-year-old doesn’t have the same right?
Let’s take a stand tall for those who are bullied.
I hope we can all find a reason to feel proud of our great nation and figure out a way to make it better in the future — especially for good people like Christian Stanfield.
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