A deaf student in Omaha, Nebraska who recently endured vicious bullying at the hands of classmates at Burke High School is fed up.
According to KMTV, Alex Hernandez, who has been deaf since he was a year old and uses a cochlear implant to hear, had his backpack stolen by two students last week. The contents of the backpack — which included his debit card, school supplies, a completed English project, and most importantly, a battery for his cochlear implant — were later found dumped into a toilet.
Classmates and friends raised $830.00 on crowdfunding site GoFundMe to replace the damaged supplies. "It just absolutely sickened me," Burke High School student Devon Fuller told AOL.
After the incident went viral, the high school senior received messages of support from all around the country. "I wanted to thank all of my friends and those who wrote me for supporting me," he said in an interview with KMTV. "I am very happy. It made me feel like I am not alone."
But for Hernandez, who has been bullied for years because of his disability, this was the last straw. He's transferring to Ralston High School so that he can focus on graduating without worrying about constant harassment. "I have friends who are hard of hearing that go there and they say it's good. They get a lot of support and they don't get bullied," he told KMTV.
Of the two bullies who are now facing police and administrative investigations, Hernandez says, "Those students think it's OK 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."
His message to students in similar situations is loud and clear.
"You can move on. Don't give up. Keep going."
The GoFundMe page for Alex Hernandez is no longer taking donations, but you can leave messages of support.