Bullying, Disability, Racism and Justice in Small Town America



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Dietrich High School students John R.K. Howard, 18, and Tanner Ward, 17, who played for the school football team last year have been charged by the state attorney general’s office with felony of “forcible penetration by use of a foreign object”. If convicted, they face a maximum of life in prison. The assault happened inside of a high school locker room on Oct. 23, 2015. According to the victim , a teammate reached to give him a a hug and restrained him while Ward “physically forced a coat hanger into the plaintiff’s rectum,” the documents say.

The victim’s family has filed a $10 million civil lawsuit against the school and 11 employees, including administrators and coaches who are accused of failing to stop the abuse. Because they claim that this was an ongoing abuse and no one did anything to stop it.

I think this case is really important  because it represents a huge problem that we have in this country. The problem is racism and bullying, and discrimination against mentally disabled kids. these types of  cases have been happening for years.

In this particular case it says that the teachers were at the very least guilty of allowing it to happen.  Some may have even “encouraged” the kids to bully this particular minority student. I think it  is caused by the lack of education that we have in some areas of the country.  Fear and ignorance is greater in rural America where citizens tend to ignore the truth over their own ideas of conspiracy and propaganda. In this case the kids disability to socialize and be a part of the group made him an outsider that was easy for this small town community to target.

This is unfortunately something I have seen with my own eyes through my high school years, definitely not to this degree but it is there.  I think we should be very aware about this topic and know what to do when we see bullying happening in front of us to prevent things like this.

For more information about how to report bullying, please click on the link below.


Understanding Mental Illness