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OMAHA, Nebraska – A deaf student at a Nebraska high school is speaking out after he was bullied last week, KMTV reports.
Alex Hernandez is deaf, and he uses a cochlear implant to hear.
Last week someone stole his backpack during lunch and dumped his tablet, school supplies, homework debit card, and cochlear implant in a toilet.
He told administrators about his missing backpack. They reviewed surveillance footage and saw two male students walk off with his bag.
Hernandez told administrators he didn’t know either of them.
Hernandez has been deaf since he was 1-year-old, and he says he’s endured years of bullying and jokes.
Now he’s speaking out, and letting those students and everyone else know that their jokes are unacceptable.
“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 KMTV. “Or anyone for that matter.”
Hernandez says he’s most upset that the bullies ruined his English project.
“I was very upset because I know I work really hard on my project and homework because I just want to make my mom to be happy and know that I did a good job on the homework,” said Hernandez.
The school was able to identify the students who stole his backpack, and they claim they didn’t know he was deaf. One of the students is suspended, and the other student is under investigation by the schoo.
”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 released the following statement about the incident.
“We are aware of the situation that occurred at Burke earlier this week.
We take these kind 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.
OPS strives to provide a safe learning environment for all students.
Here are some of the steps we take to prevent bullying:
Bullying protocol information is included in the OPS due process handbook
Bullying prevention and positive relationship lessons are embedded in various curriculum areas throughout a student’s academic career.
Any student or parent who suspects bullying, should contact their building administrator immediately. “