Outrage after disturbing video shows school bullies laughing after shaving hair of special needs student
ARVIN, CALIFORNIA: A disturbing video making the rounds on the internet shows a group of high school bullies shaving the hair of a special needs student.
The alleged bullying incident reportedly took place at Arvin High School in California. One boy is seen in video footage shaving the hair of the victim, leaving him with bald patches. The mother of the victim said that her ward was "pressured" into having his locks cut, adding that he has special needs. The bullies can be heard laughing in the viral clip, with one seeming as if he was taking pictures on his phone.
The special needs student, who hasn't been identified due to his minor status, is seen in the video using his blue t-shirt to wipe away tears. He is later seen using his phone as a mirror to check how much hair had been sheared off. The clip showed students mocking the boy with huge grins on their faces.
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
Arvin City Councilmember Daniel Borreli told KGET he's "outraged" by the video filmed at the high school and said he wants to hold officials accountable. Flor Santiago, the mother of the bullied student, said she'd like the school to make it clear that bullying is unacceptable by disciplining those involved.
"We want those kids to be punished and to understand that what they did was not right," the heartbroken mother told 23ABC, "They cannot continue to hurt others." She explained to the outlet that her son has long hair "because he likes it and takes good care of it," adding that other students did not have permission to bully her son like that.
Case of bullying at Arvin High School caught on camera https://t.co/jrSEGFczuw— 23ABC News (@23ABCNews) October 20, 2022
Kern High School District officials condemned the bullying episode. "Arvin High School administration is aware of a video circulating on social media," Erin Briscoe-Clark, public information officer and communications manager for the Kern High School District, told 23ABC in a statement. "The behavior exhibited in the video is clearly unacceptable, and we do not condone bullying of any kind. When students breach the boundaries of acceptable behavior, they will be held accountable for their actions, and the school will provide support to any affected student. The incident is being thoroughly investigated, and appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken."
The City of Arvin issued a statement late Thursday, October 20, saying the city and Arvin Police Department had reached out to school and district administrators in light of the incident. City officials said they were monitoring the incident and are offering support and resources to bring a “swift resolution” to the issue.
Arvin High School posted on Twitter, “In regards to the recent events at AHS, please know the school has taken and will continue to take action. Due to the ages of those involved, disciplinary actions will and must remain confidential.” The high school added, “We do not condone these actions and please know we do educate against bullying.”
Meanwhile, well-wishers have set up a GoFundMe campaign to "bless" the child.