INDIANAPOLIS -- A video that appears to show a student being bullied at Ben Davis High School is getting strong reactions from all over the community and prompted one woman to step forward in support of the teen victim.
The video shows Jeremiah Ballard II, a sophomore, sitting at a lunch table when another student comes up and pulls his headphones off his head, breaking them.
“He was being humiliated, people were laughing in the background,” said Paige Malone. “I have a brother, that would hurt me to my core if someone did that to my brother.”
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Malone says she reached out to Ballard’s family and met with his mom, who agreed to let her take him shopping with her and her brother.
“I can just look in his eyes and I know I made a difference in his life and he made a difference in my life too,” said Malone.
Jeremiah’s sister, Breanna, says the support from Paige and her brother gave Jeremiah the strength to return to school.
“He could not stop smiling,” said Breanna. “It made a huge difference.”
Breanna says she hopes by sharing Jeremiah’s story, it can prevent even just one kid from being bullied.
A spokesperson for Wayne Township says the student that removed Jeremiah’s headphones has received appropriate consequences for his actions. Administrators are now looking at the video to make sure all students who were involved were addressed.
"The incident occurred during one of the lunch periods in the cafeteria at Ben Davis High School on Friday, August 24. It involved two students. Staff on lunch duty intervened immediately and worked with both students involved. Ben Davis High School administration also worked with both students’ parents regarding this incident. The student who removed the other student’s earphones received an appropriate consequence for his actions.
The M.S.D. of Wayne Township did not become aware of the video until Saturday through social media. Dr. Jeff Butts, Superintendent, was very appreciative of the students who shared the video with him and responded through Twitter that BDHS was aware and had handled the situation Friday during school. Further, he shared that the administration would further review the video to ensure that we address all students involved."
High school can be hard and bullying is real. It's really real,” said Malone. “You be the one to stand up for them you be the one to make a difference you be there friend just because you know that would be my message to the world. I honestly think that everyone should start today not tomorrow today and just try to make a difference in someone's life. Do you see someone at the lunch table alone go sit with them busy so much struggling to help them you know the little thing counts.”
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