Alex Hernandez, a deaf high school student, was the target of Nebraska bullies last week when his backpack — along with all of its belongings — wound up inside a school toilet.
Hernandez’s backpack, which contained his tablet, homework, school supplies, his debit card, and his cochlear implant, was taken during the lunch period Wednesday afternoon. The photo showing the damage has since gone viral on social media.
After telling school officials that the backpack was missing, school security reviewed surveillance video and found that two boys walked off with it. However, Hernandez told a FOX affiliate that he didn’t know either one of them.
“Those students think it’s OK to bully a deaf student, but it’s not. It’s not OK to bully someone who is disabled, deaf or hard of hearing,” Hernandez told the station. “Or anyone for that matter.”
Hernandez, who has been deaf since he was 1 years old, told reporters that he has endured brutal bullying for years, but the latest incident left him feeling unsafe and unable to return to school
“This just got out of hand. There’s too much bullying, too much drama, too much fighting, it’s just not nice,” Hernandez said. One of the students was suspended while the other is still under investigation.
”I just want to talk to them; I don’t want to fight them,” Hernandez said. “I want to talk it out. And talk to their parents about them so they can tell them they need to teach them the right thing to do.”
Omaha Public Schools has since released a statement regarding the incident, stating “We are aware of the situation that occurred at Burke earlier this week. We take these kinds of situations very seriously. Due to student privacy laws, we are unable to provide specific details regarding the situation, but we do want to assure you that we are working with all parties involved. The situation was an isolated incident.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help Hernandez replace the damaged goods, but has since been closed after reaching its $800 goal.