October 11, 2021
A deaf teenager was devastated when his backpack containing his cochlear implant went missing on school grounds. A review of the school's security revealed the culprits, forcing other students to take action.
Alex Hernandez, a high school student who had been deaf since he was one, nearly lost his faith in humanity one fateful Wednesday night in 2016.
The high schooler discovered his backpack missing during lunch break. The discovery left him heartbroken, as the bag contained his tablet, debit card, homework, school supplies, and his cochlear.
Dreading the loss of his hearing aid, among other items, the teenager immediately reported the issue to the Omaha Public School's administrators. A search for his bag immediately commenced, to no avail.
They had no choice but to review the surveillance footage, where they saw two boys carting away his backpack, which they dumped in the toilet.
The horrified Hernandez claimed he knew neither of the male students. But their actions seemed like a personal attack on him, as it ended up ruining his homework and English project that cost him several sleepless nights, among other items.
The school authorities were eventually able to identify both bullies and took them in for interrogation. The boys claimed they had no idea Hernandez was deaf, but that did not stop the school from taking disciplinary actions.
One of the boys was suspended immediately, while the other underwent rounds of investigation under the school's watch.
Hernandez's mom didn't seem satisfied with the turn of events and insisted on talking to the boys and their parents to teach them how to raise a child the right way. While the teenager holds no grudge against his bullies, he had some admonishing words for them, saying:
"Those students think it's okay to bully a deaf student, but it's not. It's not okay to bully someone who is disabled, deaf, or hard of hearing. Or anyone for that matter."
While Hernandez's words may seem like common knowledge, many fail to understand the repercussions of such actions. The high schooler admitted he had been bullied his whole life due to his disability, with the backpack incident crowning it all.
He could not help but feel unsafe to return to school. He noted: "This just got out of hand. There's too much bullying, too much drama, too much fighting. It's just not nice."
Gladly, his schoolmates came through for him at the right time to restore his faith in humanity. They set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to replace his ruined belongings.
Thankfully, her hope was restored when the professor, Michael Abram, was placed on administrative leave as the repercussion of his action. Such acts of love, care, and kindness prove to Hernandez and others living with disabilities that they are not alone.
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