Canal Fulton community outraged over video of student with special needs being bullied

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 10:20 PM EDT
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CANAL FULTON, Ohio (WOIO) - Canal Fulton parents and students are outraged after a pair of students bullied a 15-year-old student with special needs and then shared that video on social media.

19 News learned that two students at Northwest High School in Canal Fulton encouraged a freshman at the school with special needs to remove his own feces from the toilet with his hands. While he did that the students laughed and took a video later sharing it on social media.

Parents tell 19 News the students were suspended, but many are saying the punishment isn’t enough.

19 News is not showing the video in question on air or online, but we did show it to some people in the community to get their reaction.

“Oh my gosh,” Cristina Helsel said after seeing the video. “I think they should be expelled in my opinion; I do. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.”

“That’s disgusting,” said Tara Hubert. “That’s just awful. I can’t believe parents would allow their kids to behave that way.”

Kimber Karos’ son also has special needs. He happens to be best friends with the 15-year-old student who was bullied.

“I think that doing some type of education on people and children with special needs to be held for these boys,” Karos said.

Karos said it happened on Monday in the school bathroom.

“To see how this situation has been handled I’m ashamed,” the mother admitted. “This is not something that needs swept under the rug. Right is right and wrong is wrong.”

Karos said some students started a petition that had hundreds of signatures calling for the two boys involved to be expelled. She also said there was a walkout planned for Thursday.

“I pulled the victim and my son out of school and the kids were chanting justice for blank and they were shut down, told to shut their mouth, they had locked the school doors. They were threatened with a two-day suspension,” Karos said.

19 News spoke with the Superintendent of Northwest Local Schools Shawn Braman over the phone. He said there was no walkout, and that the school’s principal handled the situation appropriately and met with the students.

Karos said that as a mom of a special needs child at the same school, she now worries for her son’s safety.

“I probably won’t send him tomorrow you know until this kind of simmers down he might not go back just because this situation has not been handled,” said Karos. “They did give a punishment, but you need a hard lesson because you got what 400, 500 kids looking at the situation well if he got away with it we can get away with it. Who’s the next victim? If this is how you conduct your school, who’s the next victim?”

The superintendent said he could not go into specifics about the incident or the students’ punishments but said the district tries to treat all of its students with respect and dignity. He said, when a student breaks their code of conduct, they receive the appropriate disciplinary action.