A shocking video posted to Facebook shows a 14-year-old lying face down in a rushing stream as another teen jumps onto him and then leapfrogs to the other side of the water to avoid getting wet. Around him are other students from Nova Scotia's Glace Bay High School — watching, laughing, recording — and one takes the opportunity to throw a rock at him.
"At first, it started as a dare," the victim, Brett Corbett, told CBC News. "But then someone threatened to push me in the Burr-Bank and said 'Get on your gut,' and a girl walked on my back."
"I was freezing ... no one tried to help me," he explained in an interview with Global News. "The girl literally walked on my back, she said, 'could you get back down please, I don't want to get wet.' I shouldn't have let her walk on my back."
Frequent target of bullying
Corbett has cerebral palsy. He told the Chronicle Herald that bullying isn't an unusual occurrence in his life but that this video in particular made him feel like he's no one cares about him.
"Someone was making fun of me for stuttering and I flipped him off. He said, 'You flip me off one more time, I'll kick your teeth down your throat,'" Corbett told the newspaper.
The video, which was taken this week, sparked backlash on social media.
"Parents; you failed this generation. The amount of teenagers that stood around and watched this happen, even took videos of it. I hope you watch this video, recognize your kid and feel the shame. To the little girl that stepped on him; you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself," Brandon Jolie, whose friend is one of Corbett's parents, captioned the video. "Everyone who knows this boy knows he has a disability. How fricken hard is it to show some compassion?? To stand by and not only allow it to happen but to take a video as if it's a joke! It's 2018, show some respect for eachother and empower eachother rather than claw other people down to build yourself up."
He added that parents need to take more active roles in their kids' social lives to prevent similar situations from happening.
"That is disgusting to watch. It's time to put an end to bullying, and this abuse, for good. I couldn't imagine if that was my kid with that disease and had to watch that," one commenter wrote.
"Shocking! So many families raising children with zero moral compasses. Yes, it is super hard work to teach our children right from wrong, consistently and fairly. But it is our responsibility to do so, no matter how busy we are, we cannot turn a blind eye to the children we are supposed to raise," another said.
Jolie also posted a different version of the video in the comments section that shows Corbett being forced into the water while students scream profanities at him.
Corbett's mother, Terri McEachern, said her other son showed her the video and that's how she learned about the bullying.
"It just tore my heart to see my child laying there, and another human using him as a bridge," she told CTV News. "It just hurt as a parent."
It just tore my heart to see my child laying there, and another human using him as a bridge.Terri McEachern
The incident is under investigation by the school, according to several outlets, but Corbett's family is also thinking of taking it to the police.
The family told the Chronicle Herald that the video prompted the school to suspend the students involved, but that they'd been brushing it under the rug before it went viral.
Another parent is planning an anti-bullying rally for Sunday to deal with what she calls a "chronic" problem at the school.
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