California High School Faces Backlash After Video Shows Students Bullying Teen With 'Special Needs'
The Kern County community is rallying in support of a student who had patches of his hair shaved off by classmates, who laughed throughout the ordeal.
by Nick Fenley
October 25, 2022 at 5:49 pm
A troubling video made by a group of students at Arvin High School has sparked outrage online, as a teen with “special needs” was the target of cruel bullying.
The situation at the Kern County, California, institution came to light late last week after a student-made video began spreading throughout social media.
The video, which was reuploaded and condemned by a TikToker going by @erikaharris14, shows a group of people laughing and recording a student as he shaves patches of hair off of the teen’s head.
In response to the bullied teen wiping tears from his eyes during the distressing ordeal, a classmate can be heard saying, “no llores, mijo” — or “don’t cry, little boy.”
Over the reupload is a message, which reads, “This boy was bullied and made fun of to shave his head at school. He was crying!!!”
“You guys think this is funny, he was fkn crying because you people pressure him into doing stuff. This is not okay. I hope the school does something about this and punishes you all,” the message continues. “Even security laughed and didn’t do anything!!! I’m so outraged. Arvin high is trash.”
The user also added further context towards the end of the upload, writing, “These kids made fun of his hair because he couldn’t afford a haircut.”
“Stand up for what’s right. Imagine how that boy felt when he went home,” she powerfully added.
A boy at Arvin high school who has special needs has been being bullied. And yesterday a group of boys brought clippers to the school and shaved patches off of his hair in front of everyone while people recorded and laughed. pic.twitter.com/ovTETVnGFR
— Erika Harris (@erikaharris14_) October 20, 2022
Once the video began gaining more circulation online, many expressed their disappointment and outrage — including the bullied teen’s mother, Abe Santiago.
“We want those kids to be punished and to understand that what they did was not right,” she said, according to 23ABC Bakersfield. “They cannot continue to hurt others.”
Flor Santiago, the bullied teen’s aunt, also condemned the situation.
“The parents should see the type of kids they are raising,” she expressed, 23ABC Bakersfield reports. “Other times, they are telling him things and also hitting him in the stomach, apparently confusing him for someone else. But we both know that you can’t just go up to someone and hit them in the stomach and say, ‘I was confused of who it was.'”
Check out what others had to say on social media.
ARVIN HIGH SCHOOL NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND HAVE THESE KIDS EXPELLED. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ALLOW A POOR KID GET BULLIED WHILE SECURITY DID NOTHING?!?? DONT LET THIS GET SWEPT UNDER THE RUG AGAIN!!!! BULLYING IS A REAL THING BUT SCHOOLS DONT DO SHIT ITS TIME SHIT GETS DONE! pic.twitter.com/ssIATLCiRt
— 🇲🇽manuela🇲🇽 (@mangosmanny) October 21, 2022
That video of the kid getting bullied at arvin high school here in cali hurt my heart 😣 how can kids be so fucked up and force a kid to cut there hair smh ! Thats mental abuse I pray that kid gets passed this and justice ! and them kids better get there ass whopped !
— Mar🕷 (@chixnaaaa) October 21, 2022
I would absolutely sue the school, sue the kids, get them arrested. There should be laws against bullying. if bullies don’t get any type of punishment than why would they stop.
— Kathy (@Kathy_Dominguez) October 21, 2022
On top of the online outrage, the local community immediately rallied together in support of the teen.
There were many signs and parents and students shouting, asking Arvin High School administration to stop bullying and to make the security guard who stood by laughing when a student was getting his hair shaved against his will, get disciplined. pic.twitter.com/LdT9qeBkHe
— David Kaplan (@DKaplanKBAKKBFX) October 21, 2022
Arvin High School administrators swiftly issued a statement, reading, “In regards to the recent event at AHS, please know the school has taken action and will continue to take action.”
“We appreciate your strong emotions and anger toward this incident; the staff at AHS share your feelings. We do not condone these actions and please know er do educate against bullying,” the release continued.
While the specifics of how the matter’s being handled are under wraps, it’s worth adding that the student in question, referred to as “Javier,” received some help and support from a local barber named Herm Almanza.
We should also note that, mere days after this bullying incident came to light, Arvin High School coincidentally held a SALT (Save A Life Today) Walk in memory of a former student who died by suicide shortly after graduating, according to 23ABC Bakersfield.
What do you think about the situation at Arvin High School?