LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – A disturbing video, showing what appears to be a Beaureguard High School student with Autism being bullied inside the boy’s locker room, has made the rounds on social media. Now, the student’s mother is thanking students and administrators for how the situation was handled and urging others to push back against bullying by showing kindness.
It’s easy to see Elise Grycell and her 15-year-old son Jacob are close. The two spend a lot of time together, and Grycell tells News 3, he has a good heart.
“He is very smart. He loves electronics and playing baseball with Miracle League. He’s a loving child; he loves everybody. I couldn’t ask for a better child, I really couldn’t,” Grycell told News 3.
Jacob enjoys going to school at Beaureguard High. Where last week Grycell got a call from the principal.
“The principal called me and informed me there was an incident at school and that Jacob was filmed while somebody was taking his pants away while he was changing for PE. They filmed it and posted it to Snapchat. It was brought to my attention. I guess children brought it to the principal’s attention, which was great because it tells me somebody is looking out for Jacob,” said Grycell.
News 3 will not air the video. It shows a person filming Jacob in his underwear, then turning the camera and pointing to a pair of shorts hanging from the rafters in the ceiling of the locker room.
“Yes, my pants were up on the ceiling, and that was not good,” explained Jacob.
“To me, that’s bullying. It would have been wrong to do that and share a video even if it was somebody else, but on top of that is it’s a child with Autism,” she said.
Assistant Superintendent, Jason Wright, tells News 3, the incident is being investigated and handled with appropriate action:
“We are aware of the incident that you have referenced in this story. While we cannot share specific details of any disciplinary incident, we can confirm that the school administration was made aware of the situation. An extensive investigation has been conducted, and appropriate dispositions are forthcoming. Lee County Schools, in no way, condones or tolerates bullying, harassment, or intimidation. We appreciate those individuals who have knowledge of inappropriate behavior occurring and notifying schools officials so that these matters can be properly addressed.”
Lee Co. Assistant Superintendent
“I couldn’t ask for a better school to have my son enrolled. From the students to the principal and the way they handled it. They were right on top of it,” said Grycell.
Jacob’s mom says while he doesn’t understand what happened, other kids do. She hopes Jacob’s story will encourage others to stand up to bullying and reach out in kindness.
“He’s a good kid, and he just wants friends like anyone else,” she said.
Jacob was voted, “Mr. Kindness” by his peers at Samford Middle school in Lee County. His mom says most students have gone out of their way to be friends with him and she hopes this is just an isolated incident.