Support for Bay Village Ohio Family After Charges Filed in Ice Bucket "Challenge"
Please join us in support of the family who is now dealing with both the trauma of the initial Ice Bucket Challenge and scurrilous, uniformed and downright vicious comments in media reports from coast to coast. The complaints filed today against five Bay High School students accused of dousing a 15-year-old classmate with a mixture that included urine are appropriate, says a lawyer for the teen's family. Thanks in part to TV, movies and the push from within some of the Autism and Asperger's community for so called "neurodiversity", most Americans have ZERO idea of the real challenges of autism including the diminished ability to separate friend from foe. The result is that this boy is being blamed for what happened to him by some. And his mother and father are reeling from the judgemental comments about their parenting ability, not to mention having to read lies about their son from- the "woulda shoulda coulda" armchair autism "experts" who frankly, haven't a single clue.
Please share your kind words with the family in our comments. I promise you, Mom and Dad will read every single one. Thank you. KIM
10/14/14 BAY VILLAGE, Ohio -- The complaints filed today against five Bay High School students accused of dousing a 15-year-old classmate with a mixture that included urine are appropriate, says a lawyer for the teen's family.
Attorney Dean Valore said the family of the teen, who has autism, is very supportive of what are the juvenile equivalent of disorderly conduct charges against all students, who are between the ages of 14 and 16. In addition, three of the teens face misdemeanor assault charges.
"I think that's no any small thing," said Valore, referring to the accusations of assault.
He said Ohio has no felony charge that fits the facts in the case. But he said advocates for people with disabilities may push for such a charge in the wake of the incident.
The 15-year-old thought he was participating in the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but instead was doused with the mixture of urine, tobacco, spit and water, according to prosecutors.
Valore said the teen was duped and "wanted to fit in with the crowd," but then felt humiliated when he realized what had happened. "This boy was picked on because he was a little different," the lawyer said. "This was a dignity issue." Read the full article and the comments here.
You are an example of courage and strength for all of us. I am grateful to know that the police and district attorney in your town do seem to "get it." I cried terribly when I first read about and saw the video of what happened to your boy. I have a six foot tall, handsome, 13 year old, low verbal autistic grandson who would be completely vulnerable to a hate crime like this. I cannot thank you enough for deciding to prosecute the teenagers who did this. Stay strong and know that the autism community is an ever growing family -- and we will support one another.
Posted by: Denise Anderstrom Douglass | October 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM
This upsetting incident--this kind of mindless cruelty--perpetrated by smart-aleck jerks always must be punished; must never be tolerated. My heart broke when I read about this and the trauma it caused your son and you, his parents. As if having autism isn't hard enough--it had to be compounded by these idiots. I am deeply sorry for the pain and humiliation they visited upon your son. Such disgusting behavior leaves a burning memory of which your son now lives with.
Any parent, any grandparent, any decent person who knows about this episode stands behind your family as you seek justice against these shameful perpetrators.
Schools must institute basic consciousness-raising programs as part of their curriculums so as to make other kids sensitive to and aware of the challenges our kids/grandkids with autism deal with.
Posted by: Julie Penny | October 17, 2014 at 12:26 PM
My heart goes out to your son and your family. It's so hard protecting our kids to begin with without the cruel and inhuman treatment that your son received. I can't fathom what the other parents have taught their children that they could participate in such cruelty. Just know that all of us with a special needs child are standing beside you. Our kids are so innocent they must be defended.
Posted by: Linda | October 17, 2014 at 03:30 AM
I was so happy when I first read that the teens were being charged. They certainly need to answer for their actions, whether or not their target had autism.
I have twin teenaged girls who are lower functioning. I always want to protect them and surround them with loving people. Despite my best efforts, one of my daughters was molested by her school bus aide. So I've experienced the pain many of our family's have when we realize that we can't protect our kids from the evils of society.
When I first read this story it disgusted me, and I was filled with rage. I then felt horribly depressed. I can only imagine how awful the boy felt when he experienced this, and then how horrible it was and still is for him and his family.
These criminal charges being filed are the first step in the right direction. Not only will it send a message to other teens who have done similar things or who have thought about it, it will (hopefully!) get these teens to acknowledge and accept that what they did is wrong and change their perspectives on how to treat people who are different. Hopefully it will give the family some peace, despite ignorant internet trolls who like to say inflammatory things for attention.
I support this family. Stay strong and focus on your son and one another.
Posted by: Laura M. | October 16, 2014 at 10:07 PM
Our family supports you 110% and our prayers go out to you.
I believe we should push for laws that make it a hate crime to victimize a disabled person, they are more vulnerable than any other group that has hate crime status so it is a reasonable request.
If we allow these types of crimes to be treated with a slap on the wrist it will not only be open season on our autistic children but on all children and people with disabilities.
Keep fighting the good fight and God Bless you and your family.
Posted by: Richard | October 16, 2014 at 09:18 PM
My son is also 15 w/ autism. My heart breaks for what your son went thru. I like any parent would be devastated & furious. This is the worst kind of bullying. Unfortunately it could happen again to our other autism families...so please continue to seek justice for all of our children. God Bless YOU!
Posted by: Stutz Family | October 16, 2014 at 07:49 PM
I have an Aspie guy, as well, and he has been the victim of bullying in the past. I wanted to cry when I heard about your son. I am genuinely sorry that people are so cruel and judgmental. I hope you son is able to get to a place where he can feel comfortable and relate to at least one person his own age, and that they "get" him. I hope the people responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and please know you are not alone.
Posted by: Cheryl | October 16, 2014 at 07:43 PM
I have an 18 year old autistic son that is currently homeschooled. While we decided to homeschool to prevent such things from happening to him, my daughter who is 16 and (as normal as any teen) has come home telling us horror stories that happened to friends and brothers of friends that were "different". I think you are doing the right thing by a law suit. Teens have enough difficulties without being autistic, and those who refuse to understand such difficulties are fools and are usually in fear of having the same being done to them. I pray that your son come out of this "adventure" with all intact and learns from it as well.
Posted by: Michelle Heath | October 16, 2014 at 07:21 PM
My son is 11 and has ASD. When I first read about this case, I wanted to cry. Our kids are so vulnerable. What type of person does it take to attack the most vulnerable among us? It breaks my heart that these kid's parents did not instill values such as compassion and kindness. Anyone who blames this boy for being trusting, should examine their own hearts.
Posted by: HealingJosh | October 16, 2014 at 06:01 PM
I feel for this family and the young man. I know many Asperger's who want so much to be part of the crowd and included if only they could make friends. I have a more severe son and he wouldn't have even taken part in this kind of challenge with the idea of making friends so not all people with autism are alike. I think as they get to be more severe they aren't into any idea of "making friends" that is a concept and not something that you can really explain. These individuals too have to be watched carefully because people can take advantage of their true innocent ways and that makes it easier for people to make fun of them by teasing them. Our individuals often just don't get it...about the ways of people around them.
Posted by: Martha | October 16, 2014 at 05:48 PM
I am very lucky that my 19 year old son with limited verbal autism has had a very loving and protective environment at school and home life. This could easily have been so many of our children. I know this is not easy for you but I hope you can stay strong and stay the course. What those boys did was ridiculously mean and illegal and they must be held accountable for their actions. Anyone who speaks negatively against your family is just wrong. I am sorry you find yourself in the autism arena but I am proud of what you are doing. Let us all know if there is anything we can do to help.
Posted by: Autismcomic | October 16, 2014 at 05:16 PM
I am so happy that you are addressing this horrific matter in such an assertive way. Way to go, brave warrior mama and papa! You are showing your son, your family, your community and indeed, the world, that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in a civil society.
Your son is a much better person and has far more value than his so called friends. Please let him know that the world is full of people that are cheering him on, and wish him every success and much happiness in life!! We are praying that justice will be done in this situation, and that God will richly bless your family. Big, big hugs to you.
Posted by: Bullying will be STOPPED | October 16, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Bullying and hazing are at an all-time high in our country and in our schools. Part of the problem is that there is not a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior from pre-school on (by both parents and school personnel). At my children's junior high and high school, I learned of many incidents of bullying and hazing, none of which was handled properly, either by teachers, principals, or administrators. Little incidents unchecked early on lead to bigger incidents later, like the terrible one your son experienced. Schools are no longer safe places for any student, and that is especially true for students with disabilities. Parents need to be aware of this fact and may need to take action to protect their child from harm.
I am so sorry for what was done to your son. I pray that God will use for good what man meant for harm, as only He can. I pray that your son will be able to be and to feel safe again, and I pray that the perpetrators will allow this event and their subsequent punishment to change their behavior, hearts, and lives for the better.
Posted by: Laura Hayes | October 16, 2014 at 12:59 PM
I hope that your son heals from this horrible incident and that wisdom will prevail in the system's response.
The kids who did this need to be taught a lesson and the community needs to understand the lesson as well. They need to learn empathy, perhaps by being made to stand in the town square before onlookers and having the same exact thing done to them, individually, each one having his/her day to be humiliated alone, like your son did. They should then be made to stand there and not allowed to shower for a good long time. After they publicly apologize to your son, then the court can decide what to do with them from there. It is my hope that the system will be wise in handling everyone involved.
Posted by: Linda1 | October 16, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Prayers and thoughts to you and your beautiful family. So hard when people use our children's innocence and belief in the basic good nature of others against them.
Hopefully the parents of the kids who did this wake up and realize they need to teach their children about kindness and decency. The perpetrators need some major intervention, and I am glad you are calling them to account.
Their behavior shows they have severe challenges of their own. I hope the judge orders some kind of service that will help them learn how to be kind, and that sadism and bullying are unacceptable. Hopefully at this point they are deeply shamed by what they did.
Posted by: Hera | October 16, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Thank you for pursuing your son's case with dignity and courage. I know it would've been easier to simply drop the whole thing and try to move on with your lives, but you are showing your son that he, as a human being, deserves justice. People don't understand anymore that every human person, regardless of condition or ability level, deserves respect. This assault was violent and degrading, and I praise you for setting a good example for your son. Give him a kiss for all of us in the autism community who understand the emotional intensity of raising a kid on the spectrum. Keep loving him as the irreplaceable individual he is, and he will be all right.
Posted by: Erin | October 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM
It's awful that your son and your family have had to go through this. It's not the kind of situation that will ever resolve with a happy ending, but hopefully ends with those kids publicly apologizing to your son and family and doing some community service having to do with autism. I hope it does not become some negatively defining moment of your son's future, and that better memories will someday cover up the pain.
Those other kids are learning a valuable lesson at your family's expense, as are their parents and all other families ignorant of autism that might someday find themselves in a similar situation. Maybe those kids will decide to be brave, show compassion and respect, and stand up for the vulnerable. It's a much needed lesson, obviously, and I hope everyone who is following your story becomes the better human being for it. I hope someday you get some appropriate heartfelt thank-yous in the mail when you least expect it.
Posted by: Jenny | October 16, 2014 at 09:43 AM
We are all behind you and your son. What these other kids did is horrible and wrong, but what you and your child are doing is nothing but RIGHT. There may be nay sayers, but they are wrong. Stay strong and know the autism community is behind you!
Posted by: Maryann | October 16, 2014 at 08:48 AM
Raising a boy with autism myself, my heart goes out to this family in light of the recent "ice bucket" joke played on their son. I fully support them in their efforts to see that justice is done and those responsible for the incident are punished to the full extent o the law. We must stop this harassment of individuals with ASD. Wishing them all the best.
Posted by: Maurine Meleck | October 16, 2014 at 08:03 AM
So sad and so sorry your son was at the receiving end of such horrible treatment from those ignorant teens. I hope your son is recovering and will fully recover from that horrible event. Thank you for having the courage, strength and determination to prosecute the teens to the fullest extent that the law will allow. The teens and society at large need to learn that any type of maltreatment of people with disabilities should NEVER be tolerated. You and your son are teaching everyone a very valuable life lesson. Thank you, thank you, thank you for setting an exemplary example and God Bless your family.
Posted by: Michelle | October 16, 2014 at 07:56 AM