An autistic teenager who was trying to escape bullies, plummeted from a 50ft bridge onto rocks and broke his spine in four places.
Stepdad Michael Morgan said: “Joshua and his friend were walking by the river, when they realized some boys were following them. “They heard them shout ‘there they are – let’s get them!’ and climbed on to the steel supports of the bridge to get away.”
“Joshua and his pal climbed on to the steel supports of the bridge to get away but the boys started throwing stones at them. One of the stones hit Joshua on the shoulder and another hit him on his foot – he lost his grip and fell.” said Morgan.
The family claims the teenager has been bullied for the last five years, targeted because of his disability, which is a form of autism. Morgan said: “He came out of the local corner shop and one of the boys jumped on his back, and started hitting him on the back of his head. That was the only time he defended himself and he was arrested and charged, which made him scared to defend himself again.”
Morgan said his stepson has been to the police for help more than 15 times but was not taken seriously.
The story raise an awareness of the bully-problem in the public. “Reading stories like this always makes me wonder about the word bully,” posted a reader on Reddit.
Other commented that “One of the key reasons that bullying persists in all walks of life, but especially around schools, is precisely that it’s called “bullying” instead of what it is:
A kid punching another kid in the face is not “bullying”, it’s assault.
A kid stealing another kid’s lunch is not “bullying”, it’s theft.
A kid pursuing another kid chanting names and shouting abuse is not “bullying”, it’s harassment.
The Bureau of Justice School Bullying and Cyber Bullying reports that bullying often leads to violence. These are some of the statistics from their study.
About 87 percent of students say school shootings are motivated by the desire to get back at those who have hurt them. About 86 percent in this study cite bullying as the reason that kids turn to lethal violence. About 61 percent linked school shootings with the perpetrator being physically abused at home. About 28.5 percent of middle school students been threatened by peers and classmates and 27.4 report someone stealing their belongings as another type of bullying. Over 23.7 percent report sexual comments and gestures as another form of bullying.
This problem affects all groups despite the race, sex, gender, religion, or nationality.