People around the world are watching the video of an 11-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with autism, Kaleb Kula, struck by a classmate as another classmate recorded it with a cell phone camera.
The original story on abc2news.com had more than 36,000 hits, as of Monday night.
In that story, Kaleb told us he’d been the victim of bullying, for years. “(Other students) call me, homosexual. They try kicking me, pushing me, punching me, and a lot of other things,” he said.
Now, Kaleb is back at school at Elkton Middle, and he’s getting some support from some pretty unexpected places. The video brought outrage from Cecil County residents like Donald Ball.
“This is in our neighborhood. This is our back yard. This is ridiculous,” he said.
Ball leads the county's chapter of the “Hogs and Heroes Foundation” -- a group of bikers who raise money for children of first responders.
“It disturbed me,” he said. “It literally made me sick to my stomach that this is happening.”
Ball said his members will be heading to next week's meeting of the Cecil County School Board. They'll be asking if anything can be done regarding the school system's policy on bullying, and offering their help with volunteering and fund-raising.
“Instead of just being one of those ones that just steps back and says, aw there's nothing we can do. Well what can we do? Well we're going to step up and say what do you need, we're here,” he said.
The school system could not speak about any punishments that have been handed out. But Kaleb's family says the boy who punched him, the student who made the video, and other students in the video have all been suspended from school.
“Right is right and wrong is wrong. And that was just wrong,” said Donnie Smith, a member of the Cecil County band, “Born Again Outlaw.”
“When I saw that video, part of it made me mad and the other part made me say you know we need to help in any way we can,” Smith said.
He and his girlfriend are organizing a benefit concert for autism awareness, which is set for next month. The guest of honor will be Kaleb Kula.
“The fact that that little boy got picked on, we want to give him the chance to stand up and hear the crowd cheer for him for a change,” Smith said.
They’re calling it “A Concert of Caring in Honor of KALEB.” It’s set for on February 18th starting at 6pm, at the V.F.W. hall in Port Deposit. Donations will go to A.R.C. Northern Chesapeake Elkton Office, and N.A.M.I. Walking For Will to raise awareness and support for autism.
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