The student of Burke High School in Omaha uploaded a shocking picture of his ruined belongings, which included homework, school supplies, a debit card, and Hernandez's cochlear implant battery (something he needs in order to hear).
For years, a Nebraska high school senior had been heartbreakingly bullied for being deaf. But one day, when Alex Hernandez's backpack was stolen during lunch period and its contents dumped in the toilet, he decided he had had enough. The student of Burke High School in Omaha uploaded a shocking picture of his ruined belongings, which included homework, school supplies, a debit card, and Hernandez's cochlear implant battery (something he needs in order to hear), back in 2016. What he didn't expect was a wave of support from people across the nation who lauded him for speaking up about the abuse his peers subjected him to and empathized with his situation.
Per CNN affiliate KMTV, Hernandez immediately alerted administrators when he realized his backpack was missing. Although the staff helped him in locating the back, their efforts were unsuccessful. It was after reviewing the surveillance video of the incident that the security learned about two male students who walked off with the missing bags. Speaking to reporters, Hernandez said he was not aware of the students' identity. "Those students think it's okay to bully a deaf student, but it's not. It's not okay to bully someone who is disabled, deaf, or hard of hearing," expressed the distressed boy. "Or anyone for that matter."
Being deaf since 1, Hernandez has been the source of many heartless jokes and the victim of many bullies for years. Despite being ridiculed for his disability, something he had no control over, Hernandez put up with it for as long as he could. But the last straw was when his backpack went missing. The incident left him fearing for his safety at school. "This just got out of hand. There's too much bullying, too much drama, too much fighting, it’s just not nice," he explained, adding that he was most upset about his English project being ruined. "I was very upset because I know I work really hard on my project and homework because I just want to make my mom to be happy and know that I did a good job on the homework," the teen said.
Hernandez's mother later told reporters that the school administrators eventually identified the two students responsible for taking the teen's backpack. The students, whose names were not disclosed due to student privacy laws, claimed they were unaware that Hernandez was deaf. At that point, one of them was suspended and the other was being investigated for his role in the said case. "I just want to talk to them; I don't want to fight them. I want to talk it out. And talk to their parents about them so they can tell them they need to teach them the right thing to do," expressed the bullied's boy mom. "It's not fair that the bullies think they can continue with this behavior. They need to be reminded that there are consequences to stealing and bullying. Today was my kid - tomorrow will be somebody else's," she warned.
The traumatizing episode pushed the teen to transfer schools. "It's his decision. I support him no matter what. I definitely don't want him going to that school if he doesn't feel safe," said his mother. Although the unfortunate incidents ruined Hernandez's school experience, it ultimately made him aware that not everyone is as unkind as his bullies. Some of his teachers apparently replaced his notebooks which had been ruined, while his classmates came together to raise money for him, according to CNN. Hernandez was quite taken by the output of love and support from his close friends and stranger all over the country. "I wanted to thank all of my friends and those who wrote me for supporting me. I am very happy. It made me feel like I am not alone," he shared, adding that most people who wrote to him were also deaf. "They said they felt sorry for me and had me in their prayers. They said [they] were here supporting me and they know how it feels like to be deaf. So I'm very happy," he recalled.