Bullying comes in all forms and does not discriminate. One high school senior from Omaha, Nebraska found out firsthand how cruel others can be. Alex Hernandez has been deaf most of his life. He has dealt with being just a little bit different than his peers, but what happened to him one afternoon at Burke High School was nothing he or his family could have imagined.
Hernandez had left his backpack sitting on a table. When he returned, the backpack and everything in it were gone. Not only had he been carrying around his school supplies, money, homework and his tablet, but inside the backpack was also the battery to his cochlear implant.
Hernandez searched around for the backpack, and then alerted teachers of the theft. Upon reviewing security footage, the administration witnessed two boys walking away with the backpack, ultimately dropping the contents in a school toilet. The school is still continuing to investigate the situation.
Hernandez and his parents were obviously outraged. Hernandez feels that any kind of bullying is wrong, deaf or not. His supporters who viewed the images of the submerged backpack feel the same way. A GoFundMe page was created in his name to replace the destroyed items and renew his faith in people. The incredible gesture worked. Within no time, enough money was raised.
“I am very happy. It made me feel like I am not alone.” Hernandez said. Unfortunately, the incident has left him fearful to return to Burke High School. With his mother’s support, Hernandez has decided to transfer to Ralston High School.
He is told by some of his other deaf friends that Ralston is a good school, and they have not experienced any bullying from students.
Hernandez and his mother feel that this is an important story that needs to be heard. A victim of bullying will carry that experience with them for years to come, if not forever. People need to understand that bullying leaves deep scars. It is a parent’s job to be aware and vigilant, whether their child is the victim of bullying or the perpetrator, to help put an end to this damaging cycle.