Teen With Down Syndrome Attacked And Bullied In Chicago School Bathroom

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School officials in a Chicago suburb are reportedly investigating the details of a video that surfaced Monday showing a group of teens attacking and bullying a student with Down syndrome in one of the school’s bathrooms.

The video circulated among students at York Community High School, according to the Chicago Tribune. The footage shows the victim being pushed to the ground by laughing classmates who continue to mock the boy until he takes goes into a bathroom stall. Once school officials were notified of the incident, investigations into the identities of those involved began, York High School Principal Shahe Bagdasarian told the Tribune.

“Parents were contacted and students were interviewed. Upon completion of the investigation by the school, appropriate consequences will be issued to those involved,” Bagdasarian said, according to the outlet.

“We shouldn’t still be seeing these things happen,” Frank Lally, an education policy analyst for Access Living Chicago, a disability rights organization in the city, told CBS News.

“You would think that in 2022, students in high school would have a little bit more empathy for their peers. But the sad reality is students with disabilities are victims of bullying at much higher rate than their peers,” Lally added. (RELATED: 9- Year-Old Black Girl Commits Suicide After Racist Bullying At Two Schools)

Superintendent Keisha Campbell told the Tribune that the investigation is ongoing and school resource officers had contacted the teen’s family. A number of people have come forward to provide the district with helpful information related to the incident, the Tribune continued, citing Campbell.  

“The immediate and overwhelming response from the York community is a testament to the fact that the actions of a few do not represent the entire school,” the superintendent said, according to the outlet.

Fellow student Mary Olivia Muti started a petition to heighten awareness of the wide range of students’ needs in the school, CBS News reported. Muti also plans to meet with school administrators to push for a suspension and sports ban for all the perpetrators, according to the outlet.

Lally applauds Muti’s efforts, but signaled more had to be done to exact lasting change. “It’s not a one solution, you know, fixes everything. But education, along with all those other things, can’t hurt – right?” he said, CBS News reported.

Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 spokeswoman Tonya Daniels made it clear that bullying, intimidation and harassment are not tolerated in the district, and warned that any student who opts to engage in those behaviors will face the “appropriate consequences,” according to CBS News.