People in Bay Village, Ohio and folks around the country are rallying to support the victim of a truly terrible prank. On Thursday (September 4), a boy with Autism was conned into believing he was participating in an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video only to have urine and fecal matter dropped on him by several bullying teens: a truly reprehensible act.
Now, a nationwide network of support for the teen has developed and his community has come together to reject this act of intolerance.
On Friday evening, a rally was held to show support, with WKYC.com reporting that people were chanting "No Hate in Bay" and "No room for hate" while wearing blue: the color brandished by many an Autism awareness group and also one of the colors of Bay Village High School.
"To me, it's reprehensible... that these kids would take advantage of a vulnerable teenager," explained Bay Village police chief Mark Spaetzel. He went on to say the video of the incident was one of the more disturbing things he's ever seen in the entirety of his career in law enforcement.
Elsewhere, in the comments of a Cleveland.com story, many commenters echoed the sentiments of disgust for the prank and support for the bullied teen. User Davey Doodle wrote "As the father of two children on the Autism spectrum, this video underlines one of my many fears for my children. I can easily see my child in this video. He is 13 years old, 6', 210 lbs and is cognitively 5 yrs old. It is extremely depressing that someone would do that to another person that cannot understand."
But many people took action against the bullying. One Twitter user, Christine Marlow, even set up a fund to help support the child and his family, reminding us that we can all do our part to spread a little more of that good people of the world message that we, at times, so badly need:
Comedia Drew Carey, upon hearing the news, tweeted that he would give $10,000 of his own money to help local police and activist groups find the teens that pulled the horrific prank. "WTF? Just saw this," the comedian wrote. "Horrendous. These kids should be arrested and expelled."
He went on to say that "If the Bay Village PD wants to start a reward fund to find who did this, contact me. I'll donate $10k." Carey also agreed to give money organizations like Autism Speaks and several others to help put an end to vicious and cruel bullying of people with Autism.
In the end, it seems that the purpose of the prank to humiliate this teenager has completely backfired. Instead, he and his family are caught up in a show of nationwide and local support that is bringing the community of Bay Village even closer together.
If you'd like to donate in support of the bullied teen, go to the Youcaring link.