TEEN BULLIED: Students Post Video Online

The family of a teen with autism in Melcher-Dallas say bullies are targeting the boy and even posting videos of his reactions to medications online.

“People tell me to run into things and I don’t really like it. And I tell them that I don’t want to and they just laugh at me, whenever I do it,” says 13-year old Levi Null who has been bullied for years.

He struggles with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. Because he’s different he gets picked on. But now his classmates are ramping up the bullying, posting videos of Levi online using school issued computers.

“They’re hitting him upside his head. You know, smacking him. Just, um, the teachers are aware of it. A lot of them turn their backs,” says Levi’s mother, Dawn Simmons.

“There were other kids in the class watching this happen. You can see it on the video. And nobody even admitted to seeing it. The teacher was in the classroom and never admitted to seeing it happen. It’s horrible that nobody’s doing anything about this.”

Principal Josh Ehn says the students who made the video have been disciplined and the video was destroyed, “We try our best to educate our staff, educate our students to react to the cases and investigate the cases that we have but ultimately it’s gotta come down to the kids to take ownership of this and to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.”

Ehn admits bullying and cyber bullying are tough problems to combat.

UPDATE: Neighbors Say Bullying Justified

13RAW VIDEO: Melcher-Dallas Bullying Interviews

294 comments

    • patty orr

      This town Is the Worst on bullying,, and the teachers, staff, and anyone else working at the school turns their backs…its always been like that… Hope bullying a kid with problems like this makes these kids feel really big….cause actually it shows what a bunch of idiots you are…that includes the people ignoring it.

      • kittycat_kc

        People bully everwhere at every school, it is not just our school, you people are talking badly about our town… there are worse things going on… we all make mistakes nobody is a saint ! When you sit and trash talk about my school ! Your making my town look bad when there are more serious issues going on in other schools that should bs taken care of, I’m not saying it wasn’t an issue…. but last night in the news, they went on and on about how the school didn’t Do anything to resolve the problem which is the last thing from the truth, yah, they could have done more about it… but atleast they did anything at all ! I guarantee hardly any of you no one thing about my school melcher dallas in my opinion is the best school I’ve ever been to ! I used to be the suicidal little girl that I was and all the staff and students have gotten me threw my drlepression with in the month I moved here! I believe that melcher dallas school is the best place on the earth ! I am sh happy here ! So I would really appreciate it if you stooped taking badly of my town ! Thanks

      • m-d saints

        Our school is great. Yes, it has flaws, but what down doesn’t? It’s be wonderful if you would stop saying joining of idiots we all are!

      • n/a

        @ $hittycat and m-d saints-
        If people thought poorly of your school before, you certainly justified their low opinion. You can’t even write basic 4th grade English, and your thinking is totally warped. Your teachers and your parents must be incompetent morons to produce such mental dwarfs.
        You claim people shouldn’t come down so hard on you because there are worse things going on elsewhere? NOTHING is more craven and ignorant than chronically ganging up on and bullying a disabled student. Emotional torture is just as brutal as physical torture and is tantamount to murder of the spirit.
        You better do some testing of your air and water in that depraved town full of vile low-lives because something is poisoning your mind and turning you into subhuman idiots.

      • Brad

        I love how some of these other idiots start talking about their problems!? You are spot on, Patty. This is beyond pathetic.

      • Grampa J

        May GOD deal with those that have no heart. If it was your child, would you like it? May God add the plagues of the prophecy to this childs enemies.

    • Suezett

      It’s not about defending someone with a disability, it’s about understanding the disability. Would you knock over someone in a wheelchair? Just because you can’t see what’s wrong, does not make it right or justified to bully that person. Asperger’s can be worked with, but it needs the help of many and not just one. His parents, doctors, and HIS SCHOOL. If you don’t understand something, look it up and learn about it.

    • spyhuntress

      The principal might be the most ignorant of this group. How would anyone tell children that have no idea the effects of autism or how it impairs a child’s ability to interact with the world around them it’s a child’s responsibility to police themselves?

      The CHILDREN have no idea how to respond to an autistic child, nor should they at that age, but the ADULTS have a responsibility to guide them in a way that is appropriate, and protect someone that doesn’t have the ability to protect himself. This is a completely unacceptable answer from an educator, and tells me that his position in the role that he is in should be reviewed by the school board. At the very least with the hands off approach he makes the school liable for a lawsuit with willful neglect. I wouldn’t trust that man looking after my dog for the day.

      If this child was being treated this way as an adult or senior, it would be criminal chargeable but the fact that these are ‘children’, gives them a pass at abusing someone that doesn’t have the capacity to defend himself.

      I tell you what you think this is how children should behave, bring their behinds to my neighborhood and when the get their asses beat for being a bully; by other kids, I hope someone looks those parents dead in the face shrugs and says: they brought it on themselves.

    • candy girl

      While your level of english is terrible, your points are weak. the use by a poster of abuse using the term mental dwarf???? that’s just as bad, so all ppl who suffer from restricted growth are mental??

    • April Kilduff

      actually, if you engage with the autism community and ask their preference, many express offense at ‘person first’ language. it’s assumptive for those of us not on the spectrum to decide on language for those who are. some are ok with it or have no preference, so it’s definitely not something that can be endorsed as an “always.”

      for a deeper understanding, this is the best explanation i’ve come across: http://www.thinkingautismguide.com/2011/11/person-first-language-why-it-matters.html

  • Ginny Lou

    Shame on the teachers and principal for turning their back on this situation. They need to also take ownership of the problem happening in front of them!!

  • Rit

    The principal’s comment is ridiculous. He says it is ultimately up to the kids to take ownership. Actually, it is up to him to enforce zero tolerance.

    • Marci

      My thoughts exactly! He is passing the responsibility off to the kids??? What? I have a son with autism as well. This family needs to contact
      ASK Resources in Johnston for help for Levi. This should not be tolerated and the school has a responsibility to protect students. Call ASK Resources and ask for help!

    • Amanda Guyton

      More importantly, the principal and the other adults need to step up and be adults, and provide these children with guidance and boundaries. There is NO excuse for bullying another person, EVER. There is NO justification for it, EVER. I don’t care what you think the kid did or didn’t do, you don’t bully him. Period.

  • smalltown2

    MD is a great school with great teachers. I do think there were a couple of boys bullying. But his mother is trash that doesn’t take care of her children, home, yard or animals like they should be taken care of!

    • patty orr

      Yeah, this is the mature way to handle this situation… attack the parents!!!!…my guess you better clean up your own life before attacking someone you probably don’t even know anything about….I mean we are talking about a child with autism being bullied… doesn’t that mean anything to you???,, it doesn’t matter what his “home” looks like, or what his dog looks like, for God’s sake,, we are talking about a special needs child…..SHAME ON YOU…..

    • Danielle

      Well, that should make you all the more compassionate for this poor teen but unfortunately it just seems to give you license to pile on the bullying bandwagon. Why is your town so mean?

    • Vladimir

      To call someone’s mother trash makes you look like the dump trash goes in. I am sure this school is great, I can tell by the principles comments. Plus you have great citizens in your town, the kind that are proud when an autistic boy calls their nephew a bad name and the nephew responds by punching him in the face. Maybe someone in your town will read the comment you wrote about this kids mother a deck you in the face, now that would be nice and I can write a comment about how proud I am.

    • Dan

      I have a child with autism and extremely large and very strong. I feel like moving into town and kicking everyone’s asses who has a problem with me and my family. Bunch of sissy cowards picking on others like this. I hope that everyone involved responds with their personal info so we can take matters into our own hands!

    • n/a

      I don’t know about the boy’s mother, but it is OBVIOUS that YOU ARE TRASH. I can smell your idiot stench from over 2250 miles away.

    • Suezett

      With people like you, no wonder there is a bully issue. Instead of bashing people and putting them down because of your on insecurities, why don’t you form a group to help others in your community so that the people who are, in your eyes, not up to your standards, can get some help that they need. In other words, help not hurt. From the posts I have been reading, there isn’t a whole lot of intelligence, just hate. If your community thinks this school is great for allowing bullying, then everyone of you needs to be punished.
      I WILL WRITE THIS REAL SLOW SO EVERYONE THERE CAN UNDERSTAND ME……….HELP EACH OTHER NOT HURT. THIS MEANS EVERYONE, NOT JUST THE PRIVLEDGED.

    • david saint

      ive got a neighbor kid with aspergers. He says some things that normally might bother me a bit, but i understand he cant control it. Now, if any of these town folk care to pick on someone who doesnt have a disability, and can handle himself, let me know..im available 24-7. Im not sure whats worse, the parents condoning the bullying, or the school ignoring it.

  • Dawn Simmons

    My home is open to anyone who would like to see how we’ve reminded and my dogs r in my back yard feed and always taken care my kids are loved and obviously taken care thank you all for it support

    • Megan Turner

      Dawn,
      I don’t know your family personally but I do know your husband’s and I know you guys take care of your children/pets/etc. Living in Melcher my whole life I have found you have to take people “with a grain of salt” if you don’t you will always be having to defend yourself. We are thinking of Levi and are backing you and any others with this kind of problem 100 percent! Don’t back down as this mama doesn’t for her kids!!! Good for you for taking a stand

    • John Jones

      Mrs. Simmons, have you ever considered trying to find a school that specializes in the education of children with Asperger’s and other learning difficulties? I have Asperger’s myself, and I went through my own fair share of difficulties when I was Levi’s age. I attended such a school and the results were dramatic, to say the least. I attended the Lawrence School in Ohio (www.lawrenceschool.org), and my teacher, Mrs. Ozello, literally helped me turn my life around. I’m not necessarily suggesting that you move to Ohio, but perhaps if you contact the school they might know of support organizations and networks that could help you out.

      I wish there was more I could do to help, ma’am. But, I can at least say this: DON’T GIVE UP! My mom moved heaven and earth for me and my sister who has ADHD herself), and I know she would tell you it was worth every bit of effort (because she has told me so on numerous occasions).

      • Amanda Guyton

        Finding- and affording- special schools can be almost impossible, anywhere. And this child has the right to a free and appropriate public education, by federal law. By allowing the bullying, the school is not providing a safe and appropriate learning environment. We’ve had goals in place for my child for years to learn how to deal with bullies (after all, there is life outside school to consider, too), and we still get the “it doesn’t happen here!” song and dance. It needs to be addressed so that the environment is appropriate, not isolate the child in a new school.

      • Grampa J

        Hello,
        To the family with this sad issue.
        I am hurt by the way your child has been treated. I can only offer comfort and my support.
        I am the comedian with a purpose, and even though, I am not well known, I offer benefits to those who have special needs.
        I do not charge for these services, nor do I want anything in return for myself.
        I am honored by keeping the LOVE of CHRIST in our hearts.
        I do not seek fame or fortune, I only want children to be happy and content. I would be honored to do a show for your child and to become your families friend.
        I will continue to pray for all of you and ask GOD to keep His hand upon your family at all times.
        God Bless.

    • Amy

      My heart is breaking for you. My grandson has autism and I hope that he will never have to experience such horrible discrimination. I think that the school should have a seminar to educate everyone involved about autism/ aspergers. I think they need mediators called in to bring peace and healing for you and your town. When I”m reading these posts I”m shocked buy how defensive people in your community are being! I am not seeing a lot of accountability. I see everyone pointing fingers and nobody trying to find a solution!! This Story needs a Hero!! People need to set their anger and frustration aside and find a solution.

    • Where is the "heart" in the Heartland?

      Hugs to you and Levi, and your whole family! Stand strong!
      I know how hard it is! I’m sorry that you are dealing with this, and just know you have supporters!
      I would say that it is unbelievable that school staff could act that way, but after seeing the documentary “Bully,” I am horrified to know that they can. :(

  • HmW12

    I would pull him out of school and sue for harassment and negligence. Who is going to protect the kids if the teachers/prinicpal don’t? You have the proof right here in this video.

  • TB

    Dont understand why all you people talk bad about melcher. If it was that bad i would move. I would not live somewhere i didnt like. And i guess if were talking about being a bully. I guess i should of got the news involved when this 13 year old boy chased my 6 year old daughter home from the playground with a baseball bat. Guess what i didnt run to the media. Alot og you people need to get a life and quit talking so much stuff about melcher when you really have no clue whats going on. Your just going off of what you listened to tonite. If my daughter has a problem of getting bullied i would talk to the kids parents first. Alot of this could be corrected through the parents. If the parents correct their children.

    • Chris

      the problem, is that the parents are correcting it. I saw this first-hand as a student who was bullied a few years ago when i was in high school. many of the bullies have parents who were bullies themselves and therefore see nothing wrong with their child’s behavior.

      • Chris

        I should note, i’m not from Melcher, and don’t know any of the parents of the bullies or the victim. i was speaking generally about the bullies i’ve personally encountered

    • Megan Turner

      TB, That would be okay to talk to the bullies parents about this if the school would let you know who the parents are. I have had problems in the past and went to the school about them and they have said they can’t release the names of the parents. And another thing, ya it would be nice to move so if you would like to back me financially I will be on my way out of here. It isn’t that easy just to pick up and move with kids but if it is let me know!

    • lifelong md resident

      Exactly, other parents have tried to meet with these parents when problems have occured and they want nothing to do with it.. what does that say?

    • patty orr

      TB,,, I know all about Melcher,, so don’t say I am talking about stuff I don’t know… I raised 4 kids in that school…Believe me,,,, the bullying is terrible and whats worse is the staff turning their backs

    • n/a

      It is abundantly clear from comments such as yours what is going on in Melcher. It appears to be a town full or subhuman, uneducated slime with morals, intelligence, and social skills far below apes.

    • John Simons

      Can’t understand some of these parents logic. The parent who approved of their child punching Levin in the face… seems like Levi is the bigger man than your kid for not retaliating to senseless violence. I’d bet good money that Levi only called the other kid a name after a long period of bullying too.

  • dawn

    And u still don’t get it this isnt about melcher I like this town otherwise I would leave it’s about right and wrong it’s about I’ve went to parents I’ve went to school we even talk with the students about what autism is and why he does what he does so then what after u do that and 3 times it son has been but on you tube or fb for ticks due to medicine or things he don’t control what then . My son isn’t allowed up town because it causes . Problems but any parent who has come to me with any problems with Levi I have punished and grounded him for his actions never did I say he was perfect I said it needed to stop and I cat help Levi learn right from wrong when he’s getting pd from students to do things or when he getting hit in the locker room and blows up in the next class I’m trying to help my son people not hurt a town or school

    • Amanda Guyton

      That is so, so wrong. We have periods when we can’t go out, either. People stare. They complain. They walk right up to us and say things about my boys, as if it is any of their business or as if we don’t have the same right to go to the grocery store as everyone else on the planet.

      My recommendation is to stop reading the comments here. There are too many vicious idiots in the world, and they FLOCK to news comment sections. Instead, find a supportive community- if you have some online access, I recommend a Facebook account, and look into the plethora of autism support groups there. And me, I’m there, and glad to listen.

    • Marissa

      I’m from a small town and I’ve seen students with disabilities being bullied, it’s often a small town mentality because everyone knows everyone and if you don’t like someone you’re still stuck with them.

      To Dawn, I really hope you ignore the people who are attacking you. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to raise a child with a disability, especially in a small town. Just know that you’ve done a lot to help Levi and others like him by speaking up about this issue. Also, I’m pretty sure a lot of the “many” people commenting about the town are all actually the same one or two people with different addresses, continuing the bullying cycle.

      To the people who claim Levi “brought it upon himself” because he can be a bully at times: you have NO idea what it’s like to be Levi, you have no clue what it feels like to have these conditions and live in this particular town. You need to understand that not all children react to bullying the same way. I’ve seen this before in students from small towns who grow up together–the class ostracized a child, and sometimes in turn he may act out, which causes the class to tease him even MORE. It’s a cyclical relationship, it’s not as if every student was a perfect angel to Levi and he was a bully to them–his behavior developed BECAUSE he was bullied.

      And to other defending their hometown: Take some goddamn responsibility. No, maybe you personally didn’t do anything, but you need to realize that your hometown IS NOT PERFECT. Nobody’s is, my hometown had similar problems. Yes, near every town has similar problems, but that doesn’t excuse many of your officials and people for acting the way they did. And defending your town is only defending those actions.

      It’s easier to defend your town than stand up and admit that it has problems.

  • lifelong md resident

    If Melcher-Dallas is such a bad place to live then why do the haters move and come back???? My kid is in high school and I have only witnessed very well behaved group of kids. The teachers are great also!

    • patty orr

      dear lifelong resident… I send my sympathies….you may have never experienced the bullying, etc… but believe me,, its there,, and the kids that are doing the bullying have parents that bullied themselves… yes, I moved away and moved back,, just because of job circumstances, and rental availability…not because of love of this town…my kids went to other schools, and yes,, when you get out into this big wide world and see how schools are suppose to be run, then your eyes are opened to the crap that goes on in this school,,, for instance,,, a year ago, my little granddaughter was out on the playground…a boy came up to her and yanked her skirt clear up over her head….my daughter didn’t find out about it from the school, she found out about it from a neighbor later that night…when she went to the school the next day about it,, she gets told,,, well, we don’t want to punish him,,because tomorrow is track and field day and he is really looking forward to it,, we will talk to him…WELL,, that makes it okay doesn’t it?????…that’s only the tip of the iceburg I have seen in that town,,,so don’t go on to me about how perfect that school is,,, its way far from perfect…. but what this all boils down to…is…..This child has special needs and he is being bullied…The kids doing the bullying should be expelled, and any teacher that knew about it and was there when it happened,,, should be taken care of also… Special needs kids have enough problems in their life and shouldn’t have to deal with kids who can only feel good by picking on other kids who have problems,,,

  • janet

    My husband and I both have family in that town and he worked there for several years. The so called men that he worked for hired people with disabilities and then made fun of them constantly and played cruel tricks on them. My husband and I never took part in any of this and found it very disturbing. If the adults are behaving that way the what’s to be expected from the kids. I do believe it’s a community problem.

  • SaintPride

    The fact that everyone here is trash talking Melcher school systems is really pissing me off. No matter what school you go to there will always be bullying.

      • youngtori

        saying “it happens everywhere” isn’t an excuse to let it keep happening here. Muggings and burglaries happen everywhere too; if I see my neighbor’s house being broken into should I not call the police?

    • Mindy

      Yeah, it’s channel 13’s fault, it’s the mother’s fault, it’s the way the dogs run in the back yard. It’s ALWAYS someone else that takes the blame! wake up and stop the bulling. Just reading these post and one can see the problem, instead of helping to fix the issue or understand, you all fight. No wonder most of the kids are acting this way, the adults are being so childish! We need to get along and help each other, not rip each other apart. Be proud of your community by making it better.

    • Vladimir Steven Mizerak

      It is not true that there is bullying in every school. We have a young woman with disabilities that has come to live with us. She was bullied in her previous school. When she was enrolled in her present school, we were told there is a zero tolerance for bullying, and that the students follow this policy to the point that if they see any bullying, especially of special needs kids they will put a stop to it. That proves to be true. This attitude of the kids needs to come from the administration of the school and the teachers. The students will not stop bullying unless they are led to by the adults that give them their values.

  • TB

    All im saying people like you megan turner have know clue what is going onin this situation. My 6 year old daughter and her 10 year old friend were playing at the playground when this kid thrown rocks at them called them nasty names and then chased her home with the bat. Nobody influenced him to do this then. But thats ok until the tables are turned. You ever heard of the saying treat others the way u want to be treated. Im pretty sure this kid didnt get attention when he done this to my daughter. Im pretty sure its not that easy to move but if my family hated it that bad yes i would find a way.

    • lifelong md resident

      Her kids have no dicipline they all run the streets and everyone knows what that creates…………

      • dawn

        Really my son is at home my youngest is to young and my daughter hangs with her friends like I did in this town and 90% of everyone in this town it’s a small town u don’t have to agree but no need to show the country it colors we r a better community this is an opportunity to step up and come together to stop bullying.

    • dawn

      I didn’t contact the news they contacted me and if you would come to me as u claim others to do this so called situation would have been taken care of sir I’m not saying my son is innocent but how am I to teach him wrong and right If others treat him as they do Levi is Not allowed uptown due to kids problems and since u weren’t there and neither was I commenting on something that I didn’t no about or when it happened it’s going to fix this bullying is the issue and how bad it’s gotten and how all of you just continue to show the co try with it bully comments why r kids r where they r
      My kids get good grades my daughter is in sports and I work a very good fulltime job u all can say what u want but the fact is this is about raising awareness about bullying I love this town and half my family live here this isn’t against this town it’s to bring awareness period

      • elizabeth nabet

        Dear Dawn,
        You don’t know mw but we share a similar bond. I am a mother of four children. My two youngest age 22 and 15 are Autistic. Joseph age 15 has Asperger’s. I just got off the hone after blasting your schoo,l districts secretary after reading this article on my yahoo site. Bullying is not a federal crime, however harrassment of a child or person with a disability comes under protection of the Civil Disabilities Act. I just fought my district and won. I live on Long Island New York , which is the suberb of New York City. Under Federal Law your school district could be in violation of your son’s rights due to discrimination and harrassment. If your son has had to be removed or not able to attend all school functions or had to change scheduling due to having problems with bullies your district is in violation of federal law, which is very serious for them. I already informed Mr Ehn’s secretary that I would make it a point to get in touch with you to inform you of your son’s rights.

    • M.O.

      TB-
      Have you looked up the symptoms of Asperger’s? DO you know that much of the behavior Levi exhibits are symptoms of his condition and cannot be controlled the way a young person can control whether they bully someone or not. I am certainly not condoning or saying that what happened to your 6 year old was ok, by any means. But the bullying for things he cannot control, its atrocious. The fact that any parent would condone it or justify it is disgusting. Just because he doesn’t have any limbs missing doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have some disability or deficit he is dealing with.

  • Renee Pope

    Even if she was the worst mother in the world, which she’s not, does that make it okay for kids to be bullied? Don’t loose sight of the important topic here.

      • WWJD

        Any believers and non-believers alike in that area ever hear of “WWJD”? Like any sinner, I forget WWJD more often than I’d like to admit. People that show no compassion for those with special needs are likely not going to change their minds about this story. Here are some interesting tidbits on Autism. 1 in approx 88 kids are on ASD (spectrum of autism disorders) and 1 in approx 55 boys are on it. There is a lot of information out there on the web and in the library. The ratio of kids on the spectrum seems to only get worse each passing year. It’s a very challenging thing for kids to deal with. Just because a kid appears “high functioning” does not mean they can keep their impulses in check as easily as a kid without these challenges. Show some sympathy and interest in making all our kids grow up healthier TOGETHER. Please search your souls and decide if you think it worth learning about. The Autism and special needs community could use as much support as it can get. What does society have to lose by modeling compassionate behavior and seeking to learn as much as it can for those who are not as strong to fend for themselves?

  • Ricky

    this is such a shame that a child with Asperger’s be treated this way. My son has the same thing and I wouldn’t stand by and do nothing. If you do the research on this you would understand it better.

  • SaintPride

    The fact that this is in the news has disappointed the school and community. Almost everyone at school is livid at this junk. You can ask any of the older kids if bullying is a problem in our school and they’ll all tell you NO. Yes bullying is wrong, but to go to the news and trash your OWN community is pathetic. Also another note the teachers are not to blame here, they need proof of the incident and also I haven’t seen the video and would love to see it.

    • dawn

      The fact that so many feel that bashing a child and his family for trying to help bring awareness to a town who has no clue what we have gone thru and that u all choose to bully ourselves only continues to show how and why the kids do it we choose to stand up never said he was innocent said we needed awareness to what isn’t being done

    • patty orr

      of course they are going to say bullying isn’t happening,,, they are the ones bullying….i’m glad you have saint pride,,, glad to commend this kind of action…..she wasn’t trashing the community,,, she was trying to get people to see what is going on and has been going on for years in that school…oh, and i’m sure that tape won’t ever be shown…..

      • saints#1

        maybe she wasn’t patty but you were. One of the 1st things you said was that melcher schools is the worst at this blah blah blah!! you have not lived here for how long??? you dont know what goes on at the school!! I dont think you care about this kid or his family, you just care about another reason to jump all over the people of the community and the school.

      • Angrystudent

        Oh my god are all of you SERIOUS! I go to the school myself and I have read up on Asperger’s (by the way he does not have Autism) and ADHD (which I myself have), this behavior is not even related to what he has. The kid calls people names says he’s going to kill people and even threatened to me that he wold kill my mom with a sniper rifle. Does that seem like the symptom’s of Asperger’s and ADHD NO! He is simply using his disorders to prey on others. Yes I will admit that bullying is bad , but where is it not, (oh and thank you channel 13 for having another one sided news story) but that does not mean that the victim was never a bully. He has done so many rude and nasty things to people and we have all taken it in tolerance. I’m not surprised that someone just got tired of it. I remember for about 2 years kids did nothing to him WHILE HE STILL BULLIED THEM!! Until kids just got tired of it and bullied back. I myself have never bullied somebody, but I’ve broken up many things he has started just to turn around and hear him bullying another kid and that kid retaliating so, yes Nate Goof he does bring some of this on himself. P.S. Patty Orr and Megan Turner just please shut the shit holes you call mouths, because you know nothing about my great town and I am sick and tired of hearing you say nasty bully comments about my town, school and wonderful teachers. Maybe you should stop being so hypocritical about bullying when I’ve seen a great example of it in YOUR comments. BYE!

  • SaintsFan

    I just watched this interview. Very nice coaching and acting. Laid it on pretty thick. Too many instances to mention about this kid being the aggressor. The school can’t discipline him because ‘he’s special’. He’s special is only thrown out when he does wrong. It’s called working the system. This ‘poor kid’ is a danger to any student in that school system. Pretty sure my child would be sent away if he brought bullets to school and threatened to kill other students and their families. But this child was given a free pass. And before you say he probably felt threatened….again he is the aggressor, not the victim. Until you know the back story of the years of abuse this child has dished out, you shouldn’t offer up sympathy unless it’s also to the kids that have had to deal with him not being punished for his own actions.

      • SaintsFan

        Oh I do empathize with children with special needs. But I am first and foremost a parent who expects to feel safe sending my child to school. When nothing ‘can’ be done to or FOR a child who brings bullets to school threatening to kill other students, that’s where I have a problem. Will it be with the gun next time?? Any other child who acts this way is disciplined by the court of law a/c zero tolerance. If you want to go into how he cannot control his behavior, then perhaps an alternative school would be best suited for him to have a positive learning environment as well. There are programs that would accommodate him.

  • Be Positive

    Interesting comments here. I have been a longggg (I’m old) time resident of Melcher-Dallas also. I have witnessed 40+ years of amazing students and teachers coming out of that small school. As a general rule, they have befriended kids with differences in ways that I can’t even begin to mention because it happens time and time again. People with special needs have chosen to stay in this town and are still accepted and included and taken care of by residents. Teachers are working harder than any teachers I know to provide quality education and experiences for the young people in that town. I might add that the teachers and principals are working for less money than other teachers but they do it because they love the community and love the kids. The principal’s comments about “kids taking ownership” was totally taken out of context…you need to hear his whole interview..not just pull out that statement. That being said…are there mean kids? yes. Are there mean adults? yes. It’s an age old, world wide problem…NOT a community problem. Some of the people I have seen on here and facebook coming out after the “bullies” are quite shocking as I would have guessed them (or their kids) to be doing more bullying than being bullied. I guess it’s all perspective but wow, it appears that there is so much more to this story that was not reported so good job Channel 13 for for your hyper-sensitive, negative, low informational story designed to get people riled up by stereo-typing and providing a one-sided horrible example of journalism. Way to cause more problems in a small community. I’ll stick with KCCI.

      • saints#1

        Patty im not sure why you hate Melcher so much or what your experience was, but you have so much hate for this community and this is not the 1st, 2nd or 3rd time i have seen you bash this town. we (as Melcher-Dallas community) are luck that such a negitive person has moved away. You are the 1st to jump all over this town when something come out, mayde you moved away but have not moved on… you are a grown adult so MOVE ON!!!!

      • Megan Turner

        Saints#1, do I know you? Yes she does know what goes on as my children attend the school and are her grandchildren (which I’m sure you know as you act like you know her well lol). Wow, the media finally brought light to something that needs to be stopped and we have people about to scratch other people’s eyes out. What’s wrong, you just don’t like people that don’t have the same opinion as you do? Looks like you are the one that has a lot of growing up to do.

      • saints#1

        I never said that she needed to grow up i said MOVE ON!!! ok so she knows one side… what you tell her. she dont have kids that go thier anymore she has grandkids. So yet again this town is getting judges on one sided stories. Noone said that this kid deserved what happened people said that he is not the nicest to kids either. Its upsetting that people are so quick to judge on just one side that is all i am saying. I would never live in a town where i was as unhappy about the school as you or you mom are and im not saying you have to move or that you have to run away. im just saying for my kids i would never subject them to the kind of negativity that you have against the town/school. If you repeatedly tell your kids or talk about how bad this school is infront of them they will belive it and how can they be happy if this is what they hear at home from you???

  • Protective mother

    My child go’s to MD and It does have it’s benefits don’t get me wrong. However, it does have it’s faults and bullying is one of them. My child has fallen victim to it many times! Please note my child is not an aggressor, in fact the complete opposite. Many of days crying after school, begging to never go back. The majority of the time when I ask where was the teacher when this was happening, the response is they were there and didn’t say or do anything. I myself have been to the school with my child several times speaking to the former principal who told me things would be dealt with but, weren’t. That same principal told bullying wasn’t a problem there and that my child needed to learn to take a joke. Keep in mind that was the former principal. I have not had experience with Mr. Ehn. With that being said I was disappointed with his response on the news. In all the anti bullying campaigns it instructs the kids to get an adult to help. It isn’t the kids who are already afraid of being bullied responsibility to put a stop to things. You are the paid adults who are supposed to keep our kids safe physically, mentally, emotionally. I know some of you are upset with the family, and discussing if it is a good loving home or not. I don’t know and it isn’t my place to judge. However, I question if a mother is willing to go to the media because she feels desperate to keep her son safe and hasn’t gotten better results doesn’t that show love? Now as far as people trashing our community, oddly I’m happy about that. We have a real opportunity here. No matter what side you are on of supporting this story or not; we have the opportunity to change our community and better it. If you believe this story you can make big efforts to rally around our community and work towards no bullying. If you don’t believe this story you can make big efforts to rally around our community and work towards keeping it bully free. But trashing this family or any one who has experienced bullying in our community and spoke out you are just proving that we do have bullying in the adult and you alike. We have the benefit of living in a small community where most people know everyone instead of attacking each other why not pull together and build a better community. We have the benefit of having a small school system why not be diligent and truely have a zero tolerance inforced and rally the children at school to be better people. With a smaller system we have greater possibilities of accompishing this then a larger system. Why not use what most consider are weakness of being small as our strength to rise above to be a community ALL can be proud of calling home.

  • megan

    I lived and grew up in melcher dallas. I loved it and never had any problems. So for people to bad mouth a whole town because of a current problem isn’t right. The bullying that is going on def need to be fixed but it not just melcher who has problems. Every town, city and state has this going on.

  • kittycat_kc

    You sit there and talk about ask the students”being idiots” and your calling the whole school bad , when why do you say is everyone when it’s a few students!!!!

    • patty orr

      I only called the people who was bullying and the staff who was ignoring this idiots.. and yes I stand up by that word because in my book anyone who would bully a person with special needs is an idiot…..and excuse me for not answering the last question,, it didn’t make sense…LOL

  • Go Saints

    Kudos to “Be Positive.” You said it all! It turns out there have been more stories about instances where this child has been the bully rather than the victim. I think Melcher-Dallas is a great place to raise my kids and would never think twice about switching districts. “Bullying” has become a very overused term in our society. Kids grow up thinking they are entitled to something and the second someone disagrees with them, they are being “bullied.” It’s a shame that our society gives kids a false sense of entitlement.

  • Karen

    As a parent of a high school student at Melcher Dallas I would like to also like to state the other side of this story. I agree that bullying is wrong and if the child/person has a disability it is even more so, but to condemn the entire student body, the parents, the community, the teachers and the school administration is wrong. I did speak to a few high school kids I was with this weekend and they didn’t know this was going on until after the fact. The students involved were Junior High. The teacher in the vidoe was a substiture teacher, which does not excuse if she saw it, but as you can see in the vidoe she had her back to the class and didn’t, she can’t say she did if in fact she did not. I know the regular teacher and know she would have done something if she had been there and was told. The school did do something about this, the kids involved were disciplined, the video was taken down as soon as it was reported and the Junior High was given training on Friday about what it is like to have autisim. I do not know who the kids were and as they are minors, we as the public shouldn’t and do not know if the parents were aware of what their kids were doing prior to this. We can teach our kids the correct way to behave and treat others but we all know that sometimes this is forgotten when with friends who were not taught the same thing, so how can we blame the parents, but there very few parents of the student body that would put up with their kids bullying others. I have had kids in this school for many years and the strides that the school has made in the past 6 years is wonderful, we have an administration that does take this type of thing very serious and is always open to hear from parents. I am sorry this family feels that not enough was done or maybe not fast enough, but from this side the school did act on the issue and will continue to watch that it does not continue. We as parents in any town need to take responsiblity for our kids and teach them right from wrong, step up when there is a problem and not blame the school or others for thier behaivor. I hope this family does not have any more problems but please do not judge everyone here because of this, Alsoplease don’t judge the family based on their house. And yes I had a child bullyied before and the school did put a stop to it the day I called and spoke to them.

  • Renae

    I’ve known the Null/Simmons family for a lot of years and I can tell you Dawn is a fantastic mother and aunt. Her kids are very well taken care of and she’s a great person.

    All of you commenting on Levi’s behavior don’t realize how much and how long they’ve struggled with behaviors that are outside even his control. Children with Autism don’t always understand how their behavior effects others. Levi is a good kid.

    The principal’s comment that the ‘video was deleted’ is completely ignorant, it’s the internet. Nothing is ever deleted off the internet. It’s been shared and copied and it’s out there now for forever. This is going to impact Levi for the rest of his life. That’s disgusting and the students who made the video and uploaded it need punished severely. I’ve heard from lots of people that MD is horrible about bullies and being mean to people, the teachers allow it if you don’t have a specific last name…it’s awful.

    Dawn, keep your chin up and know that we’re pulling for you! I hope you’re able to work something out so Levi is safe at school…it’s awful that parents have to take such strong steps to keep their kids safe because the school system fails them over and over.

  • BillySelby

    Ok. People need to listen to the whole story bofroe talking about my school. I have been bullied multiple times by Levi. He has told me and many other people to go kill themselves. This makes me so mad. You cannot say we are a bad school because the school does do things about it. I admit I’ve said things I shouldn’t have. Everyone has been bullied and has bullied somebody its life.

  • m-d saints

    This trash talking melcher is really making me mad. If you don’t know melcher, don’t talk about it! Melcher is a great place to be, if you don’t like it, leave!
    -there was no teacher in the room at this time. I was in there. if there was a teacher in there, she would have been sure to stop it. I did tell them to stop once I found out the video was taken.
    – I can’t think of one person, or teacher in our school that doesn’t care, even if it’s a little but! All these teachers in melcher are great, loving, caring. They are so nice, and you can go to any of them for anything. You would be one lucky person if you had better teachers than I do.
    – you don’t get to go around bashing students and teachers because you THINK we don’t care. Well, news flash sweety, we care!
    – why do we put these kind of things on the news? There are things that need to be on the news more than this. Levi does this stuff willingly, so it’s not like we are telling him to. No one paid him either, just for the record. Anyways, why do we put this on here when all it’s doing is making us look,bad? Why didn’t we contact the media when Mr. Oliverwas going through his pancreatic cancer. He was on chemo, but he still,came to school to reach. He cared! On the last day of him teaching he walked out saying here we go m-d. when he went by in the ambulance, everyone lines the streets cheering, and bringing tears to everybody eyes. Don’t you think these things should be put on there? It’s not making us look bad, and most importantly, it showed how much our town really cares, for not just one situation of someone dying, but all situations, like someone being ‘bullied.

  • Renee Pope

    Please inform yourselves, research Asperger’s Syndrome and see why this child acts/reacts the way he does. As all people with disabilities, they don’t always handle situations the way society thinks they should, because they aren’t “designed” that way.
    I didn’t see anything in the news story that said the whole community of Melcher-Dallas was bad. This is one story, about one child dealing with these issues. If you feel that reflects on the entire community, the whole school, and every teacher that is your perception.
    I’m sure there are many people in the community, faculty, and students that didn’t know about this, and/or haven’t ever dealt with these issues, that doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.
    This story brought awareness, so use that awareness to benefit, not only this child, but the school and the community.

  • Nate goof

    The news put the report one sided even though this kid has done things to get people mad that I think he could probably control and im pissed off that people are calling this a terrible town because bullying is everywhere and just because its at a small town its a big deal but i honestly can tell you they need to get a lot more interviews

  • Rick Grimes

    I’d really like if the media would get both sides of the story not just when the parents call the media and try and get attention and give out the one side of the story. How about they add the part where he chased a student home with a bat, or when he brought bullets to school and threatened to shoot other students. He also throws rocks at a persons truck for that person telling him to stop throwing rocks at little girls. This kid is soooo innocent. Huh?

    • Megan Turner

      Rick,
      Looks like the media did give a chance to both sides of the story- they interviewed the principal. With that being said the principal said bullying/cyber bullying is really hard issues to combat, oh ya and kids are supposed to just help other kids out when they see this stuff happening.

    • jamie harrison

      he called my nephew a nasty name and my nephew cole cocked him in the mouth. I’m proud of my nephew for doing that. You gotta stand up for yourself. a week or so before that, levi hit my nephew and his friend on the bus. hes a little bully too. Maybe he needs to be in another school where they work with autistic children at his magnitude.. IT ALL STARTS AT HOME. not even going to go there.

      • Where is the "heart" in the Heartland?

        Keep it classy.
        It DOES start at home, and you being proud of a kid for “cocking” another kid in the mouth is part of the problem!

  • cetude

    The parents only have to call the police and file a police report: Legal charges need to be filed against the assaulters and hold them criminally liable. If the school does nothing I do believe they too are legally liable for child abuse.

  • BillySelby

    I am going to make sure everybody knows the truth. I know kids that have aspergers and they are nothing like Levi. I’m not going to let this school town students and teachers get bashed over one side of the story.

    • Megan Turner

      Billy,
      That goes to show how much you don’t know about this syndrome. And to go along with your other post up above, no sorry buddy but bullying is not a way of life. Shouldn’t you be in school anyways getting educated? Or are you posting this from a school computer?

      • m-d saints

        I’m not sure who you think you are to be saying how much we bully. Its not like you’ve never bullied someone and hurt them!

      • Megan Turner

        Md saints, Never said every single person bullies. And no I was raised better than to go around bullying others. I fell victim to bullies in 4th and 5th grade and let me tell you it’s not easy. I know how this kid feels. It sucks having to go to school everyday when you have no one to watch your back. I know who I am, I don’t hide behind anonymous names such as “md saints”, as you can see I clearly don’t care if I offend anyone by sticking up for something that is only right. Sorry you feel differently.

  • Fair treatment for ALL kids

    While I understand that there are special circumstances with special needs children, I think they need to be held to the same expectations that a ‘normal’ child is held to if they intend to attend the same classes. Zero tolerance of violence and threats only applies to SOME kids. My daughter has a ‘special needs’ child in her class..also autistic. This other child has sent the teacher to the hospital with a suspected broken nose, tossed a chair at my child, threatened to kill many of the other students for touching his things, among many other actions, almost daily.
    During an extremely violent reaction, this child was physically restrained until his mother could get to the school.
    At that point, she threatened to sue the school for not reacting to her child’s ‘issues’ as described in the large binder she had provided them.
    Parents of special needs kids scream for ‘fair and equal treatment’. Then treat them equally. If they cannot behave properly in a class room, if they are causing constant distractions, if they are violent, they need to be removed from the class room as would any other child. How is it fair to all of the other children in the room to say well, while little Billy throws chairs, breaks windows, sends classmates to the hospital, let’s all just put learning on hold and hope (cause we can’t pray in school) that no one gets hurt’.
    Many of these children also get state-paid full time aides. My child does not have a full time aide at their disposal. So..how do I get ‘fair and equal’ treatment for my child?
    I’m not downplaying the extra effort and work that the parents of special needs children go through. But, guess what, the rest of us love our children too. We also put a lot of ourselves on the line for our children. We also worry about their futures. We worry about their safety. We worry about their emotional well being. It isn’t always rainbows and lollipops with a ‘normal’ child either. Our kids don’t get a free pass because they are ‘special’. (although I happen to think my children and very, very special). Our kids have to make it on their own in a world full of people who want a free pass.

    • um really?

      Are you kidding? In a sea of ignorant comments on here yours is the winner. Your ‘normal’ kids will make fine bullies.

  • lifelong md resident

    if your child has an illness of this nature and severity as a parent I would my child in in a school that is equipped for only children of this nature not a community school.

    • Megan Turner

      Lifelong md “melcherian” I sure do and I’m not afraid to admit it! That’s something that I have always stood by and will stand by today, I’m not going to just set back for fear of “retaliation” or not being liked by the “popular ones”. I’m always gong to stick up for what is right even if I’m the only one standing on that side! I’m glad you know me well!

  • Rick Grimes

    I think everyone voicing their opinion shouLd probably know everything that has happened and guarantee you none of you do just going by the one sided news report. How about you go ask around the community and I bet you get answers.

  • Rick Grimes

    Megan
    Goes to show how much YOU know about Melcher-Dallas CSD because junior high does not have school computers and haven’t had access to them today maybe get your facts straight?

    • Megan Turner

      Oh, you must be referring to the comment I put out there for billy- so he must of just went home and used his computer then to post what he put today? Or was he using a cell phone (which is also not allowed while in school?)

  • classmate

    Josh Ehn(the principal) doesn’t view it as bullying because that’s how he was raised. The entire BCLUW community is that way and they should be ashamed of themselves. When he went back to teach there, he was still terrible and did nothing to help anyone but the “popular” students. He was not around for student success. He was around to be large and in charge!

  • Get Real

    These are the stories you are going to get as long as the liberals control the media and society. I do not condone bullying, but this is only one side of the story. That being said, we are so soft as a society today it is not even funny. You can thank the liberals for that. We think we are doing students such a great favor but are basically sheltering them from the real world. The classroom and school environment is so soft anymore that it is the farthest thing from real world preparation you can get. No kids should be bullied..no kids should fail..everyone should feel good about themselves..these are the mantras that go around in our school systems, but are these reflective of the real world? I’m afraid not. Bullying is done everyday by adults (check the NFL) and big businesses, people do fail in real life (no one is there to pick them up and give them a pat on the back anymore…they actually have to step up and do it themselves), and you should only feel good about yourself and accomplished when you ACTUALLY accomplish something (instead of the everybody gets a trophy society). Ask yourselves what “favors” you are doing for today’s youth when we shelter them non-stop from what the real world will not.

    • Fisherman808

      I’ve been reading through the comments, and many like the one by Get Real paint a bleak and pain-filled picture of American conscience and morality. Having lived in several places in our great country and visited for work far more, I was always amazed by the “real-world” kindness and generosity demonstrated by my fellow Americans. It made me proud to be an American. Yes, I did meet one or two jerks/bullies, whatever you want to call them, who disrespected nearly everyone around them. But they were the extreme exceptions, definitely not the rule.

      So people of Iowa, specifically Melcher Dallas, please know that the “real world” is greatly more of a good place than bad. You will find that the vast majority of people you meet when you travel the country, the world, are good, kind, and decent people. They may not give you the shirt off their backs, but they will treat you with respect.

      Who was right and who was wrong, whether or not Levi Null was a perpetrator of violence, able or unable to control himself, was simply acting out against being bullied are not the main issues. How we treat, are taught to treat our fellow man/woman/boy/girl is. Being disrespectful to others, teaching kids, either directly or indirectly, that disrespectful behavior is ok is never ok.

      • Get Real

        Well, you missed the boat completely Fisherman808. I was not saying there are no nice people in the world, nor was I saying we are a society with no morals or conscience. My point was about the type of preparation these kids are getting for the real world. Truth is, there are some bad people (as you mentioned), life is not always fair, and failure is a part of life. What are we, as a society and educational system, doing to prepare students for this? It seems we do not ALLOW students to fail in any way anymore. Is this true preparation for real life? I happen to not think so. I am terribly sorry you completely missed the point of the post but hopefully this sets you straight.

    • WWJD

      There are things in life besides political ideologies. I agree, people should be allowed to fail – we have an opportunity to learn from mistakes or these so called times in life where we “fail”. I also agree that we should work together and lift each other up. Ever hear of a concept called “failing forward”? And maybe, just maybe we can let go of our ideology and trash talk on conservatism or liberalism long enough to have a constructive conversation. We can give it a rest and do something for kids that is PROACTIVE and less REACTIVE. And by that I mean doing something for EVERY KID, regardless if they have special needs or not. This story seems to be one where the kids are the ones who are suffering by missing yet another learning opportunity. It’s a freakin’ “let’s keep score” game again. Trust me, I’m competitive, but there’s a time and a place for that. Seems nowadays everyone thinks they’re right about EVERYTHING. We are doing a disservice to the kids (some of which are posting here) with all the combative, opinionated name calling. Model good behavior for your kids. Turn the ballgame mentality off long enough to interact with them. Or, perhaps, use a ballgame approach more creatively to lift up and include everyone. Don’t always pick the “weak one” last. Trying something different isn’t always so bad. Give it a shot. Maybe even take a break from keeping score long enough to actually let a kid with special needs engage with you (or let yourself engage with them). Don’t worry – not only will your kids continue to excel, but they might learn a thing or two beyond academics and sports such as helping others, synergy and mentorship. If everything I just said is wrong, then today I gladly embrace being wrong.

  • Get A Grip

    I would be 100% on board with this families efforts if I thought this was a one-sided situation. However, it is not. I do know all the ins and outs of autism and the medication affects. I’m not so sure autism is the correct diagnosis. ADHD, I would agree with. No where is it stated that autism causes you to bring bullets to school, threaten to kill people, or any of the other behaviors mentioned. I hope everyone involved walks away from this thinking twice before they bully another student. The media needs to do a better job of including all the facts, before they get people all bent out of shape.

      • saints#1

        megan do you ever stop?? Everyone is intitled to his/her own option. I dont think you can handle that not everyone agrees with you. You need to give it a rest. I bet 80% of the people are so sick of your opinion. You are so wrapped up in this. I think you might need a hobby/job!

    • Suezett

      Before you try to diagnose someone’s mental illness, do some research first. Asperger’s, which is a form of Autism, and ADHD go hand in hand, for one. For two, Asperger’s can cause many different symptoms such as angry outbursts. This is not bullying. This is a part of the disorder. It is also common for someone with Asperger’s to have some form of Tourette’s where outbursts of words, lashing out are common with this disorder. This does not mean that the child is untreatable and needs to be locked up, but he needs to be taught and helped in a kind and trusting manner. Right now this child is acting out because he is unable to deal with what has been going on. This didn’t start yesterday and it won’t go away tomorrow. Instead of blaming and putting people down, start learning and everyone work on fixing the issue. Take action for your own kids and work with other parents to help them with their kids. That’s the best thing about small towns, they bond together and take care of each other, ALL of them.

  • concerned parent

    its so sad to see all these people fighting over the appearance of their town and school instead of fighting for the rights of this poor kid that is being bulliedyou want to talk about how he has bullied people and brought bullets to school but have you ever really look at the big picture and thought just maybe he does that because he is finally sick of people treating him the way that they do and he feels that is the only thing left to do but then again I guess it is hard for people that have never been bullied to understand anything about this but hey let’s go on a bash the parents and what their house looks like just goes to show your town does have a problem with bullies and we wonder why school shootings happen its just sad to think of all the idiots out there that teach their kids no respect or morals

  • dawn

    Wow I’m just in aww to all of this first of all I have not bashed our community however the communities wonderful post have done that them selves 2nd I never said to anyone my son was innocent however he is wired differently and he don’t work and understand the was most kids do 3rd kids were paying him to do things and I have a letter from the principal proving that my son has been suspended and in trouble many times for mistakes he makes however that gives No one the right to bully my son I was called and wanted to bring awareness to something that does go on more than most of you would like to admitted and I’m more than willing to listen to any parent when they have an issue with my son however if I don’t know I cnt fix it or teach my son right from wrong when he goes to school and gets taunted I am raising awareness and I’m sorry if that makes ppl mad but I’m ok with that cuz I know the truth that most of u dnt know thank you to those of you that support us it’s very much appreciated

  • Get Real

    Can we please raise awareness for grammar and punctuation? I find it slightly humorous and alarming that this conversation revolves around school and education, yet a large number of these posts are incomprehensible. I understand the issue is bullying, but it seems maybe another issue needs to be raised by reading these.

  • proud md resident

    gezz people, this is getting blow way out of control. I grew up in MD and moved away but moved back again because MD is where my heart is and I call home. My children are students at the school and I praise the school to the highest level, and the teachers are amazing. My son has special needs and the teachers go over and beyond to help my son get the education he needs. So bashing the school and the teachers is not a solution to this problem. Patti Orr, if this town is so bad, why did you move back, there are surrounding towns that you could have moved to instead of MD if you hated it that bad. And it cant be that bad if all your children and grandchildren go there. If its as bad as you say then why do you stay here. MOVE. I would have to agree that calling the media was the wrong approach to solving this issue, its only gunna make things harder for this boy and his family. This school cares deeply about their students, but everyone needs to hear the whole story and not just one side of the story. I can promise you that if you talk to other people or other students in the communty that knows this levi, would tell you that he does just as much if not more bullying than other kids. I can personally tell things that he has done that he knows what he is doing way over half the time. EX: chasing alittle girl home from school with a bat, taking bullets to school threaten others, breaking into the bus barn, going through peoples trash, trashing stuff in peoples yards, stealing stuff from peoples yards, breaking into abandon houses, hitting kids on the school bus for no reason, calling others racial names. This kid knows what he is doing more than his parents want to admit. And for bashing his family is WRONG. . I think the school should provide levi with the right education and have him transported to another school or somewhere with kids that have the same disability as him. It might help him to get away from the students that “do” bully him so he can get the right education. And I hope that the family gets this resolve in the best way they know how, but just talking to this boy and telling him “now you know better than that, you dont call people names, you dont hit others, you treat people like you want to be treated” isnt the answer. He needs help and I think he needs more help than what the parents are willing to provide for him. And if it is so bad that the media has to get involved then removed him from the situation

    • patty orr

      obviously your not reading all the posts right? I don’t live in Melcher,,,,ALL my grandkids don’t go there,,,GOOD GRIEF people… get a life….LOL ….

  • Saints13

    The kids who posted the video of Levi were given an out of school suspension. What type of punishment has Levi received when he has acted out? None. Sounds like fair and equal treatment for all to me….

  • dawn

    My son has had help mama since he was 7yrs old once again I DIDN’T CALL the news he has a phycitrist and a counsellor that he sees regularly he is punished more than obviously any of u know and he takes meds on a regular basic thank you as far as this bat incident unroll today on her NO ONE HAS EVER SAID ANYTHING TO ME ABOUT THAT . As far as the bus barn and house the were taken care by police and courts as far as bullets were empty shell casings ha enough from his dad’s home that he hid in his bag when he shown the kid the school took them he was suspended for 2 days and he was grounded at home now my son does get punished what about the other kid on the bus who hit him or the kid that hit him in the head during p.e repeatedly because Levi asked him to not touch his bag or the kids that use to push him up at the park till he would freak I’m NOT saying he is innocent I’m saying there is a lot going on and it needs to stop and sending my son to a different school won’t change what is going on

    • Suezett

      Dawn I understand what you are going through, I have a son with the same disorder. Try going to Asperger Expert online. I learned so much and it really has helped me understand and help my son. As for the other idiots in your town, if I were you I would talk to the American Disabilities Act, you can look it up online, I am sure there will be someone that would listen and help you. :)

  • md resident

    You guys are all acting like bickering childre. This patty ladie thinkin she knows this town so well. Ladie do we forget your son was a bully. What do you really know about this town. It is a town full of very energetic whole hearted people. I dont know where you live but im sure theres idiots there too.it does sound like a ladie trying to get her 5 minutes of fame at the price of putting the people of the city of melcher down. Do you guys realize your know better than these children right now acting as bullies. Take a look at your own actions before you point your fingers at others

    • Megan Turner

      About the only thing I got out of that was one of my brothers being a bully LOL, I’d sure like to know which one? I wish I knew what else you are saying, but I can’t read it.

    • patty orr

      Well this Patty lady (I spelled it correctly).won’t waste anymore time on people like you…ask santa for a spell checker..as far as my son being a bully? news to me…come tell me about it sometime, would love to hear the stories…..that is if you will tell who you are?..

      • m-d saints

        Yeah.. uhm, patty and megan, its about time for you to stop running your mouths! Yo uguys live here to, I’m not stupid, and megan, you have kids going to school here! And y’all need to know both parts of the story before you make stupid comments! Kay? Thanks.!

  • Get A Grip

    Dear Get Real,

    Amen!!!!! The grammar in these conversations suggest that perhaps a job and/or hobby are in order!

  • Scoobie

    Bullying is wrong, those who stand by and let it happen are almost as bad as the bullies themselves…… However, if they are being punished for getting involved , well then there’s one problem right there. If the ADULTS, Staff, individuals in charge are incapable or INCOMPETENT as to HOW to deal with these bullies then they should be fired. I am SOOO TIRED of the BULLY HAVING ALL THE RIGHTS and the VICTIM NONE!!!! People, do we really need another child acting out , hurting many when this can be stopped before a another tragedy happens?? STOP YOUR TALKING and TAKE ACTION!!!

  • kittycat_kc

    Okay…. were you there !? No ? Did you see it happen? No? I am so fed up with people saying what happened you people who are saying”what happened” bcuz you don’t no a damn thing !!!!

  • imniowa

    I’m appalled by the small town mentality here. The school is not protecting their kids, end of story. My son has Autism and can be very aggressive. We have the benefit of a large school district and open minded people. Every student has a legal right to a free and adequate education. Levi may be doing things that could be perceived as bullying as well, but this is NOT a level playing field for Levi. You can coach and correct typical children, not the same for those on the Autism spectrum. Stop being defensive and educate yourself and others. “Different not less”

  • brandy

    I’ve know dawn since we where kids and I’ve know her kids since the day they where born. She a great mother. The outside of her house should have nothing to do with the issue at hand. This is an issue of bullying, whether it be Levi or some other child doing it. Unfortunately any of us parents know that its hard to control everything our child do, we can only do the best we can which is not always enough. I really hope everyone can stop with the bashing of each other her on this comment page because if you can’t control yourself from bullying on here as an adult how can you expect your children to learn not to. This is a public page and your children can see this…. all I see on here is a bunch of bullies bullying each other, and you wonder where our kids get their behavior from… look in the mirror.

  • Beth Caikoski

    Truth is getting told to do something wrong by a peer and doing it is 100% still your choice. Truth is physically hitting another person is wrong. Truth is commonsense and respect are instilled into a child by there parents and community. Truth is raising our children with or without disabilities to have proper behavior, self confidence, love for all and to honor the community they live in is necessary. Melcher Dallas disciplined as they should have (there was nothing more they could do, the school DOES NOT raise our children) to take your story to the news to inform the STATE is simply a parenting situation that was an epic fail, every person in the world will have situations in their lives how you are raised determines what you will do, going back to raising our children to have proper behavior, self confidence, love for all and to honor the community you live in. It is disgusting to me if your child has a situation in your community/school whatever it may be (using physical aggression/ or using a disability to explain why your acting like a fool/ not using commonsense)that you as their parent do not do everything to handle the situation while still honoring your community. If you have a problem with the school that involves bullying and you get no results dealing with the school first then go to the law, airing your situation to the news to the state of Iowa well really to the world is not handling your problem it only allows others to view Melcher Dallas as some what of a disappointment. But that is what this family decided to do you shared your side of the story and shame on channel 13 for actually airing this. A news network needs and should be held accountable for reporting the whole story way to go WHOTV you have once again failed as a network. And with that being said WHOTV reported on a bullying situation that has been handled what would be a great idea instead of wasting time on bullying that has been dealt with why not spend sometime reporting on actual news.

    • Roz

      I still cannot get over how backward your city is. It’s like the 20th century missed you completely–but somehow you know how to access the internet!

  • concerned mother of a MD student

    My son goes to MD middle school & is the same age as this little boy that has been torrmented. I give you big props “dawn” for standing your ground for your child. I would do the same! All of you parents that think there’s no problem have Karma coming to bite you ALL in your butts!! I didn’t know what was hoing on until I spoke with my son this evening & it was shocking to hear such news. I figured having my children in a small town school district would be much better, but obviously I was wrong! I don’t know the entire story other than what I’ve read & what I’ve talked about with my child, but it seems as though he is very upset because my child unlike most has a heart & knows right from wrong. Especially bullying a child with Autism or any other disease. The child can not help it but I’m pretty sure that most of you have no heart yourself. With that being said I can’t wait to read what everyone has to say now!! I pray all goes welk for you & your child “dawn” & will keep your family in my prayers.

  • Steve Roseman

    It’s obvious to me that the schools and parents are failing in more ways than one just by reading these posts. Wow!

  • Jennie G.

    you people that are defending the kids that bullied this poor kid he has asbergers he cant turn it on and off, you should be ashamed of yourself My sympathy goes out to the family for having to deal with it with no support from the school or the community.

  • Samantha

    Just watched the follow up on Tuesdays 10:00 and I am outraged!! Any person who claims this innocent child “brings the bullying on himself” should really be educated about Ausbergers and ADHD. My heart goes out to this family.

  • leroy vanderecken

    I can recall about 5 times he hit me and my friends. At a football game in melcher he hit me in the balls. Then he tried to hit Billy Shelby or Eric Karpan with a stick.

  • smalltown2

    Dawn,
    On a slightly different subject, wasn’t your daughter the one that was suspended from school a few weeks ago for having drugs in her school locker??

    • dawn

      Funny u still dnt know what ur talking about . AND NO SHE WAS NEVER SEARCHED OR IN TROUBLE FOR DRUGS if ud walk over here I will show u the school report so this way u can quit talking about things u no Nothing about . Or you can just continue to bully.

  • Family

    This is down right absurd, Getting picked on in school is not something to be taken lightly. I unfortunately was one of those types of people myself. To this young man, who happens to be family, keep your head up. I would love to tell you it gets better, but a majority of the time it does not.

    Picking on someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD, just shows how blatantly lame you really are, As for the principle, open your damn eyes and do something about it. Once these kids their mind set one something they know they can get away with, they wont change. Even at 30 years old now, i still think of the horrible times i had in school, because of low lives like this, bullying people.

    Hold your chin high Levi.

  • Bingham

    Dear people,

    Can we hold a town spelling bee as a hilarious fundraiser to buy the dog a decent toy? The pathetic gossip and slander being committed in these comments were much more enlightening than what the news originally reported. I feel like Megan and her mom probably play a lot of Farmville. Please keep this trainwreck going.

  • MD transplant

    i grew up with a friend that was mentally handicapped, worked at a center for mentally and physically handicapped adults, and even spent a few years teaching school. Not that this makes me some fashion of expert, it simply gives me an fascinating yet disturbing viewpoint of this whole fracas. 1st, to WHO, that took time out of their very busy day to sensationalize a problem in a small town school, that unfortunately isn’t unique in any school across America. Regardless of whatever institution you or your children attend, bullying is a challenge. If you are delusional enough to think (put school of your choice here) is exempt, I”m sorry, you need to get better informed. WHO thanks for pulling on our heartstrings only to leave us with unanswered questions, and less information to fix any issues that you have created by half-assing what you view as newsworthy. 2nd, This remark is directed toward all of the fine folks that hang out in the wee hours of the morning to bash this interesting little town, its school, teachers and administrators, students, one very challenged young man, his peers, family and so forth adnauseum. I find most of you pathetic. You have the audacity to wag your tongue and fingers about how everything is just so horrible, and how this kid is this and this mom is that and the school and teachers is something else, yet i find there is almost no suggestion about how to im prove the situation. Its remarkably easy to sit at your keyboard typing your sanctimonious bullshit yet are too lazy to actually get off your assets and make a difference in this community or your own for that matter. Bitching is easy, Getting involved and improving a problematic situation is something entirely different. 3rd. I had the opportunity to visit at great length with a friend of mine that had recently retired from teaching after over 40 years. We have found it disturbing that we are rewarding mediocrity in our schools. There is no longer funding for any of our special students. We are mainstreaming nearly all handicapped kids into the regular classroom, yet don’t give our teachers the proper tools or help with which to maintain a regular classroom. No longer are the special kids truly special, that includes those “gifted” children as well. If things come easy, there is not appropriate activities for these special kids as well as the special kids on the opposite side of the spectrum. Face it folks, we are working within a broken system, and with our government such that it is, there is no sign of improvement in the foreseeable future. If you want improvements, you will have to take responsibility for yourselves, and stop making excuses. In fact, you can make excuses, or you can make results. You cannot do both.

  • Randy McNally

    If the misspellings and bad grammar in all of these posts are any indication the education system in Melcher-Dallas really is lacking.

  • Former East Sider

    Embarrassed to be a MDHS graduate right now. The comments on this page are probably 90% from people who live in Melcher. If you look at the updated post on WHO’s facebook page, you will see what outsiders are saying about the community I grew up in, and it is not exactly flattering.

    Why? For the most part, you are all justifying a child with autism being bullied. Read that three times. If you can’t figure out how it brings negative publicity, then keep reading it over and over again until you’re dead.

    You all say there’s more to the story. Of course there is. He chased a couple of kids home with a stick, brought some bullets to school, I think I read somewhere that he slapped a red head. So there’s an issue.

    Small town—everyone knows at least of everyone else—why are there so few comments encouraging on working together to solve the problem? Surely someone remembers Hilary Clinton’s famous book “It takes a Village?” Okay, maybe not. It exists.

    Point being, just in reading the comments it seems like no one here is in the right at all. Perhaps her child’s disease is too overwhelming for her and she needs some help that her family can’t adequately provide. Perhaps. I don’t know that for sure, but what I do know for sure is that the backlash on here from Melcher citizens is incredibly untactful and expressed so poorly it is comical. Being a town of less than 1,300 people with no stop lights and more bars to choose from than places to have dinner at…you all don’t have much…utilize each other, help each other out. Make your community a better place.

    Finally, I will in poor taste criticize a few people directly now.

    1. Jamie Harrison—I hope you enjoyed your 15 seconds of fame tonight…you’re a complete idiot.

    2. Megan & Patty—I will say, you two crack me up. And sadly you probably are both competitive for the best grammar award on this page. However, you should both seek some help. Serious help. That anger you carry every opportunity you get (Megan is a whore when it comes to fighting via social networking) is incredibly sad. And Megan you have young children…do them a favor and don’t raise them to be as miserable as you.

    3. Dawn Simmons–I am not going to attack your parenting skills, however I had a very difficult time understanding how you were justifying that you take good care of your dog and that he lives in the yard? This is not 1991, it is no longer socially acceptable for dogs to live outside. Especially not in the harsh weather that comes to Iowa in the winter and summer months. Have him live inside as your family pet or give him to someone who can properly care for him. Also, he needs a bath.

    4. Bob Lepley-It is pretty apparent who wears the pants in your house after watching your wife speak for you to the media. Grow some balls, and represent your school district appropriately.

    Melcher is a good place full of good people. It has not been represented well throughout this story though. I hope these good people who still call it their home will make a positive impact and help provide a better outcome to it.

    Goooooo Saints!

    • Megan Turner

      If I am such a “social media whore” go ahead and let me know who this is and I’m sure we can meet up to discuss and get this taken care of. Oh wait, you are to busy being a “former east sider” and posting comments at 2 in the morning.
      I won’t apologize for things I believe to be true and for what I believe in and if this is going to get me called a “social media whore” bring it on.

    • Chris

      since when is it not acceptable to have a dog live outside? as long as it has shelter from the wind and snow and isn’t a little purse dog, it’ll be fine. my dog lived outside till she was very old and she was happy and healthy, lived a long time for a lab too.

  • lifelong md resident

    who will protect my child from this one when he hits him, throws rocks at him etc?? I donot exspect my child to lay down and take a bullying either!!!! Not only does this child bully others at school but he does it after school when he roams around the town, playground etc!!! without parental supervision!

    • Suezett

      I am a mom with a child with Asperger’s and if you had any knowledge of the disorder, you would know that they do not act out unless provoked. Now if the child with Asperger’s has been taunted and bullied by the same kids over and over, then when the child with Asperger’s sees the same kids again, then an automatic defense system kicks in even if the bullying kids are not bullying. THIS IS A PART OF ASPERGER’S! If you don’t understand something, then LEARN about it and try to fix the problem and not be a part of the problem! Go to Asperger Experts online and learn and then teach others. This child needs help and support, not getting hit and being called names. So why don’t be the adult that I know you can be and start making a change!

      • ng

        You are completely right Suezett. I’ve worked with children with Asperger’s and my first thought was this child has been bullied so much for so long that it has become an ingrained response to say negative things to the children around him.

  • Big Hugs

    Okay, enough. I have sat back for the last two days and let the name calling and bashing go on and on. Children deserve to be protected, children deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. There has been none of that in regards to this story.
    We have the advocates for Levi and others with Asperger’s. We have advocates for the children who have suffered at his hands. We have those who are out for the principal’s head on a platter.
    Why is it that the students at Melcher-Dallas, and every other school, shouldn’t be expected to drive the change and stop the bullying or bully-like behavior? Is it the teacher/principal who stands up and says “Look at what’s wrong with this kid? Today, we are going to attack him/her for their differences.” I hope not. It is the children, who are influenced by those at home and the students around them. They make the decision to let the cruelty spew out of their mouths and their actions. Parents and caregivers make the decision to let the cruelty spew out of their mouths and their actions.
    This is not solely Dawn’s fault, or Levi’s fault, or the child with the camera’s fault, the substitute teacher’s fault, or the parent’s fault or Josh Ehn’s fault. It falls on our community – our local, state, national and world community.
    We fail to love our neighbors when we lack the intellectual capacity or the emotional capacity to understand kindness and compassion. We fail to think before we speak. We fail to understand our actions.
    I look at my preschool-aged children. Their world is filled with love, kindness and compassion. Their ignorance of the challenges of the life ahead of them truely is bliss. Everyone loves them and, therefore, they love everyone. I look at my teenage daughter. She is fighting life’s challenges and unfairness head-on. It is my job as her parent to speak with her about how she impacts everyone she encounters everyday. It is my job to help her see that how she speaks to her peers, her teachers, her parents and her siblings can make such a big difference in someone’s day and ultimately their perception of themselves.
    I am a conservative Christian – no way around that one. I am not a perfect conservative or a perfect Christian – no way around that one either. I fall into these traps – being unkind, not thinking before I speak/post, not considering my actions until it is too late. I am in no way a fan of Hillary Clinton. Okay, maybe one way. Folks, it does take a community to raise a child. That does not mean that I want you to be a parent to my kids. That does not mean that I want you to pay for their lunch or take care of them in any other way because I fail to as a parent. That means that it is my job to raise my children to be the best that they can be. To teach them love and forgiveness and to encourage them to share that message with others. They are going to fail from time to time. I would be naive, and quite frankly dumb, to believe that they will always be right and that every action will make me proud. We can, however, use those failures to learn a lesson and make a gesture of amendment. Don’t forget to use your own failures as a learning lesson, too.
    Josh Ehn and Bob Lepley have somethings right. It starts with the kids. The school needs to be there to educate and encourage the appropriate behavior and, likewise, discipline. I don’t want a zero tolerance policy for bullying at Melcher-Dallas. Per the state definition of bullying, it is based on somethine perceived by another. Their can be no fairness in that – not for everyone involved, ever. Based on that definition, you are all correct (cringe here). It is time for the teachers, coaches, mentors, students and staff, and parents, to step up. It is a parent’s responsibility to teach and guide and LEAD BY EXAMPLE. It is the school’s responsibility to teach and guide and LEAD BY EXAMPLE. We have to work toward a common goal – hard work is never easy. And maybe it isn’t that we need to step up, maybe it is time that we stop and recognize what we are doing well and what we can do better. Instead of demeaning each other, we can promote the progress being made and bring ideas to the table instead of demands and bad behavior.
    Kindness begets kindness. Cruelty begets cruelty. Understanding goes a long way. Stop. And think.
    The great thing that came out of this unfortunate event, is a renewed awareness of a world-wide problem. Effective communication and knowledge will bring about the needed change and justice that will be worthwhile and satisfying to all. BTW, that doesn’t involve expulsion or lost jobs, anyone leaving the school or moving from the community. It does involve real change. And guess what? That is going to hurt and be difficult. We are strong enough to handle it, together.
    Big hugs, all. Smile, because on this fine, dreary, cold, wet (but, thankfully not snowy) Tuesday morning in Iowa, you have decided to make it better.
    God bless

  • william heaton

    I am pissed off that people can actually say that Melcher is a good town. I was expelled from this school for something I never did and this entire town stood aside and let it happen. if my father was alive he would be ashamed of this town and everyone who once called him a friend.

    • Big Hugd

      That is too funny! A few points of fact: Angie Lepley didn’t go to school in MD. Angie is too old to have attended PCM. I am pretty sure she was never in Algona. She won’t be happy to know that you mistook her for me. I am a little sad that you thought I was her. I only meet one of the top ten signs…

  • be positive

    East Sider, in all your wisdom, did you make the east side a wonderful place to live before you left? Surely you found all the dogs a wonderful warm loving home. BTW, you don’t seem to know Bob or Jamie so you may not want to appear the expert on those people based upon a few words taken out of context.

  • disappointed parent in MD

    I really don’t think it’s the school system. they have done everything they can. I think it’s the parents of these bullies. It seems like to me that the parents really doesn’t care if their kids are bullies or not! Does Levi have a one on one associate at school?? If not maybe that’s what he needs.

  • Cat Hammond

    I substitute taught just ONE day in the high school and saw way too much bullying. The administration did NOTHING. There is NO DISCIPLINE ANYWHERE IN THAT SCHOOL!!. You can’t pay me enough to return to that school. Discipline starts at home! The parents in that town have failed their children.

  • midwesttruth

    After reading this article and the yahoo article about this, and reading some of these post here from people that say they are from the town supporting what is happening to this kid, I am convinced that the towns water supply is tainted with lead. Especially the quote in the Yahoo article from the guy who is proud that his nephew beat him up

  • Linda

    I’m from Australia and read this too in yahoo. When I read it I thought it was a joke. That parents could defend this kind of behaviour especially when they’re supposed to be role models. We all know it happens in every school but that doesn’t make it right. If you understood what autism is you would be grateful that your child doesn’t have it. My son has aspergers. I had to control his outbursts and violent tendencies but the difference between this kid and mine is at least I had support from teachers, doctors even other parents. My son is doing a lot better now and his teacher can’t believe how much he has changed. It just took persistence on my part. The comments from the residents who live there sound like feral hillbillies. You bring this upon yourself. If you didn’t want the bad publicity then you should’ve done something about the bullying. Couldn’t believe it when I read about the guy who was proud of his nephew just because this kid with autism called him a name. I can’t imagine what his nephew would’ve done if all he said was “Hi”. Shame on the teachers, parents and the principal for not doing their jobs.

  • Clete Dempsey

    The dough boy principal is clearly the problem. It’s up to the kids to handle this?!! You really said that?!!. When you leave things up to the kids you get a Lord of the Flies scenario. That’s what you’re there for, Chubby. You’re supposed to teach them what behavior will and won;t be tolerated. Or are you afraid the kids will make fun of you if they don’t have an autistic kid to tease?! Any parent with a brain should be incensed by the situation. If a kid has issues, either encourage him or ignore him. Abusing him is not reasonable. And to that hillbilly dad who writes that he’s proud of his son for punching Levi when he called the boy a nasty name, well, enjoy your trailer life.

  • Red

    The IQ level in MD has steadily fallen as people from Pleasantville, Bussey, and Lacona have moved in and now call it home. Lol

  • Greg

    English appears to be a minor in this school. School issues are almost always due to administration, teachers and parents. Someone in that school system has to have the guts to go against the grain and make some positive change.

  • Peter

    I am trying to wrap my head around this whole story. One person said she was glad her nephew punched the kid because he called him a name. Another said that he thinks this kid is just doing most of this for attention. I would like to ask how many of you have actually took the time to look and see how this disability affects people. I would say in the amount of time it took me to read this not many. I have taken care of adults and kids with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD for 20 years and I am still learning a lot from them. To bully a kid like that and then have everyone say he deserved it. It is happening in every town and in every state but wow it just seems like people could teach their kids about disabilities and what could be wrong.

  • Sean

    A quick note intended for the students who are attempting to defend and/or justify these actions. Since your school administration and faculty are obviously failing to do so, please allow me to provide some educational instruction. In your attempts to make lame justifications for the asinine behaviors of fellow students and school administrators, you are merely revealing your own prejudices and ignorance. The glaring deficiencies in grammar, diction, spelling and punctuation are quite telling as well.

    The young man in question does not choose to be the way he is. He has not been given a choice in life. To varying degrees, he cannot control emotional responses, physical behaviors or verbal reactions in what may otherwise appear to be “normal” social situations. He can’t choose to behave “normally”.

    At question here, is the moral imperative. The dictates of one’s conscience are simple; do what is right and there will be no need of further justification. YOU can CHOOSE YOUR BEHAVIORS, yet have chosen poorly. As to the father who is proud of his weak-minded, insecure boy…you sir are a dolt. (look it up).

  • Suezett

    FROM A MOM OF A CHILD WITH ASPERGER’S I AM OUTRAGED AND DUMBFOUNDED BY THE IGNORANCE THAT TURNED INTO STUPIDITY THAT TURNED INTO HATE! The town isn’t horrible, but the people who live there are. The prejudges that resides in this town is unbelievable. If someone doesn’t fit your mold you have to bully them and their family! The people of this town needs to educate themselves. There are many symptoms of Asperger’s, instead of bullying him, learn about it and help him. People with Asperger’s are actually intelligent, creative, and once you get to know them, they are funny with a great sense of humor. What you people did was scare the poor kid and now it will take longer for him to open up.
    WHAT SICKENS ME THE MOST IS THE PEOPLE WHO ARE “EDUCATED” PARTICIPATED AND/OR JUSTIFIED IT! EVERY STAFF MEMBER THAT WAS INVOLVED,TURNED THEIR BACK, OR JUSTIFIED THIS FROM HAPPENING WHOULD BE CHARGED WITH ABUSE OF A DISABLED PERSON, AND IF SOMEONE HASN’T DONE IT BY NOW, A REPORT SHOULD BE FILED WITH THE AMERICAN DISABILITY’S ACT! GROW UP, WAKE UP, AND THINK BEFORE YOU ACT. FIND OUT ALL THE FACTS FIRST!

    LOOK UP ASPERGER’S EXPERT ONLINE. IT IS VERY HELPFUL, OR BE THE IGNORANT, PREJUDGES, NARROW-MINDED PERSON THAT YOU ALREADY ARE. THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

  • wilber

    I also believe SEVERAL federal laws have been broken here Hey Good luck defending the lawsuit there guys.If there is a video you WILL lose.A more pathetic group of people can not be found.A child with autism is a HUMAN BEING . Hey remember what the BIBLE says As you treat the least of these this is how you have treated me

  • ng

    The failure of this school system is glaring. I am not from this town or know the school, but as an educator I can say that from reading these posts there are so many problems with this story it’s hard to choose where to begin. I can see that this is not a black or white situation. Parents, teachers and the administration are refusing to acknowledge this child’s autism and are upset that he does not “act” like everyone else. There is zero tolerance for his “outrageous” behavior and even some who claim that he does not have Autism. I find this pathetic and shameful. What a wonderful opportunity to educate his fellow students on Autism and what it means to associate with someone who has Autism. This school should have a zero tolerance for bullying and parents should be ashamed to even justify bullying.
    If this child is truly bringing bullets to school and telling people he is going to kill them that needs to be dealt with, disability or no. Why is this being allowed in the school? Again another example of a breakdown in this schools policies and education. They really need to look into hiring a counselor or and administrator who has training for a situation like this one. Taking his disability into account, there are ways of dealing with his disruptive behavior that makes everyone feel safe.
    Over the years I have dealt with the ever growing Autism population (usually one child per class) and know first hand that there are “grown up” ways of dealing with this.

    And for the parent who says his daughter was chased by this boy with a baseball bat… Why would you allow you daughter to be in such danger with out speaking up? There is a calm way you could have approached the family about this.

  • Fisherman808

    There usually are two sides to every story. So maybe Levi Null is a rotten kid and needs a lot of help from his parents to be more sociably responsible. Perhaps he is causing so many problems that he needs to be taken out of the school? But leaving such a question up to a bunch of kids is unconscionable and cowardly, especially for an educator.

    In no way should teachers, a school principal, or a school board president allow/encourage vendettas by any group of teenagers against a fellow teenager. As educators, they are responsible for not only teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also instructing on decency. But in their defense, perhaps it is considered morally acceptable in Iowa for a group of kids to gang up on and bully a 13 year old autistic kid? Perhaps it is considered ok for a supervising adult to take no responsibility for the well-being for the children in his charge and leave it up to the kids to make the rules at their whim and enforce such on any of their choosing. Perhaps in Iowa it is ok for the strong to hate and demean the weaker…survival of the fittest and all that.

    To think that we had thought Iowa was a Christian place.

  • Mike Jenkins

    Well it is certainly not a place that I would want to live raise a family or invest any money in. I suggest that they move after filing police reports on all the kids that assaulted him and then sue the school and the parents.

  • Amber W

    For all of you defending the school, the teachers, the principal and the administration in your comments, I would like you to know how pathetically uneducated you come across. To the students defending your school, clearly it’s not that great of a school and you’re not getting that great of an education when you don’t know how to spell the words you’re using in your comments here. To the towns people, teachers and parents, grow the hell up and educate yourselves! You should be disgusted by defending or even shrugging off the bullying. You shouldn’t expect much from the children you’re raising and teaching now, in the future. How can you expect these kids to grow up to be sound minded adults when they don’t even have that for role models? Lastly, to the principal and the administration, you should all be out of jobs you bunch of shameful, sorry excuses for educated professionals in the business of education.

  • Chris

    The folks defending kids bullying a special needs kid – I hope none of you have the audacity to call yourself Christian. Jesus didn’t smack lepers upside the head and post videos of it for entertainment. He had compassion, he did not blame them for their station in life.

    To the people who think this kid brings 3 quarters of it on himself – I’m sure you’re (not your) of the mindset that black men were rightfully lynched for talking to white women and still live in that good old boy mentality. Modern society has no place for you please remain in rural Texas until you die.

    To the people who think there is nothing wrong with your town – we can always get better – ourselves, our town, our country. Being a well rounded person is about accepting and learning from criticism not putting up blinders and loudly denying the problem exists. America didn’t become the best just by yelling it was and ignoring anything to the contrary – it was made this way by people who loved it enough to know it could be better.

    In closing big support to Levi and his family for standing up to such an onslaught of ignorance.

  • Tommy

    I saw what the principal said. He needs fired, and at least one member of the school board needs to issue an apology and resign. Disgusting

  • Brian

    My daughter is 7 years old now and in 2nd grade. Each year her school has an assembly discussing bullying and each Monday her principal speaks in front of the entire school addressing good behavior and discouraging bullying. I’ve never children behave as well as they do at this “public” school.

    Want to end bullying, start early!!!

  • Concerned parent

    Crazy how far this has gotten. I think bullying is wrong no matter who is doing it. I think it is crazy that we are focusing on talking trash and not looking at what really needs to be done. All of the children involved in this and the adults need to be held responsible for their actions, this includes Levi if and when he bullies others. Maybe his parents should work more on trying to teach him how he should treat others and not rely on his disability to make excuses for what he does. Bullying happens in every school and I am sure that staff ignores it in all schools, not just in MD.

  • india1503

    I’m from RI & I’ve just heard about this story. To the people stating that he doesn’t have the diagnosis that his parents claim he has – stating he doesn’t have Asperger’s but rather ADHD, how do you know? Are you his doctor, do you go to hismed appointments? Are you aware of the wide spectrum of symptoms that a person with Autism has? You’re an expert on the subject.
    I read the articles, saw the videos and have read to comments. It appears the family wants the issue addressed, not to bash the town but many supporters of the alleged bullies are doing what abusers do – deflect the true problem that the victim is trying to resolve. To the rest of the world catching this news those supporting the bullies sound foolish. The parents phone number of one of the accused bullies number has been published on another site & perhaps now your family will be on the other end of this bullying debacle. Truly sad & how this was handled and your ignorant justification of bullying is poor representation of your community.

  • nikivictory

    Why is the first and foremost concern the town’s good name, but not the state of the community? Everyone is wasting time pointing fingers and all it does is distract from the problem.

  • Mrs. Frazier

    It is sad and unfortunate that the entire community is being judged by this incident. Some people in every town are ignorant. My husband lived in the community. It is a shame that those defending either side are losing sight of what is important here. Stop the cyber bullying. You are no better than anyone else.

  • Concerned for All

    Wow. I have read every single comment. I am amazed at the name calling and personality bashing. I don’t live in Iowa or even know where this place is. I do not have a child with a MHD other than ADD. My children were raised to be forgiving and accepting of people that are different than themselves. This not only includes mental health issues, but behavioral as well. I’ve raised them to understand that maybe a bully is bullied at home and therefore needs more kindness. My children have both stuck up for kids that have been bullied. My daughter has a girl in her grade that has Down Syndrome and most of her grade (80+ kids) are very protective of her, like she’s their little sister. The point that I’m trying to make is that there are better ways to deal with these situations. My children have been bullied and through showing them kindness, all of their bullies are now their friends. I know this in NOT the norm in these situations and that civility is usually the most that can be hoped for.

    I also understand trying to be calm and not retaliate when someone is constantly bullying you until you finally can’t take it any more and snap.

    That being said, I don’t know the situation, nor the school, the school faculty, the community, or anyone that is directly involved. I will not pass judgement on a situation that I do not know about personally.

    My only suggestion would be to have a one-on-one aide to follow Levi around school all day. This would mean in classes, at lunch, and any “break” time throughout the day. That may cut down on the bullying by him towards other students and by other students towards him. This is only a suggestion.

    And, as far as knowing that the small amount of people from Melcher that are posting are only a small percentage of the town, I say with slight hesitation…For the love of God and all that is Holy…PLEASE get a dictionary, thesaurus, or spell check! I understand that your heart is in the right place, regardless of which side of this issue you are on, and that you have intelligent ideas, but with the spelling and grammatical errors, they do not come across as well informed/educated as you had hoped.

  • saharath

    -_- Enough shaming for one day. I think the people of MD need to realize that people are not here to attack you without a reason. People are concern with your lack of responsibility ( I think, at least that’s what i’m most shocked about). I live in LA, the most diverse city possibly anywhere and we have our share of bullying back in my primary schooling days. It’s normal, people have been doing it for some time now, but it’s not the bullying that’s truly upsetting it’s the lack of taking charge. 3/4th his fault, 1/4 my kid’s fault, that’s the first I’ve seen a parent making excuses for an inexcusable act, just own up to it and talk to your children, don’t make half-hearted excuses for them that’s not your job. To put the cherry on top the principal goes around saying that it’s not bullying, the children should take care of it, and so on and so forth. The children are not the authority. The administrators are act like one, don’t discipline…educate. Asperger is such an abstract condition that you barely show any physical signs. I didn’t even know what it was until i dated a person with asperger (and later studied it in school since i persue psychology as a major) Defining bullying and stating that it doesn’t fit the criteria is such a sneaky way of getting out of it, once again own up and educate.

  • Lynn

    As a mother of a child with Aspergers and ADHD, this breaks my heart and literally sickens me. Our Matthew is intelligent. He is loving and caring. He has friends that love him but at the same time, he can be annoying, a know it all and at times, socially inept. I can understand the annoyance that this child may cause but let me tell you it is nothing in comparison to what these bullies probably do on a daily basis and then to have their parents and the school board to act like such fools…can we say Future Criminals?! NO COMPASSION! NO EMPATHY! NO PATIENCE and obviously NO LEADERS THAT GIVE A RATS BEHIND about a child will probably show up the next day and be as kind as he can to these same bullies!

  • Dawn

    The school board, administration, teachers, and principals, need to be ousted. They are the adults who should stand up for a child , especially with a disability. They have failed everyone in their community by allowing this to carry on. The mother of the autistic child needs to find a lawyer and sue everyone involved. If you are a resident of this town and you sit idle while this child continues to be harassed daily at school , you are just as bad as the people doing it. Shame on you. You stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves. If you think this child can help himself, you need to go and educate yourself about his condition.

    • Lynn

      Completely agree! This mother needs to take on this school, the school board and the parents of these children that have not been taught compassion!

  • stupidity is spreading

    i feel like the majority of you commenting truly have no idea of what is going on because the news makes it a very one sided story. do all of you that are saying that the entire staff needs removed because they do nothing actually know the entire staff and spend day after day at the school with them? if the answer is yes and you still feel this way…then by all means keep posting, but for those of you that just heard on the news that one “teacher” in the room did nothing think that…you need to get more facts on what goes on.
    for you to judge an entire town on 3 people being interviewed is the most ignorant thing i have heard. come visit the town and talk to more people and get their opinion and then make your judgements.

    • Lynn

      I don’t feel that anyone should be removed but I do feel that SOMETHING needs to be done. Bullying, whether it be done to a child with disabilities or a ‘normal’ child, is wrong. The issue I have here is that, while this child, I am sure is annoying and bugs the other children, that is no reason to allow this to happen. Then, having these children’s parents make up excuses for their children’s bad behavior makes the situation even worse. Someone needs to stand up and show these bullies that what they did was wrong! As humans, we are loosing our compassion. As parents, it is our responsibility to show our children that while another child may be different that is no reason to hurt them physically, mentally or emotionally. When you allow your child to feel that hurting another is OK, you are setting them up for a cruel reality as an adult. My child also had ADHD and Aspergers and never, has he had any trouble in his PUBLIC school with any of his peers. I know that he is annoying. I know that he can bug the other children but the difference here is, his school teaches the children that just because someone is different is not a reason to hurt them in any way, shape or form. I feel sad for these children because in the long run, they are the ones missing out because anyone that knows about Aspergers knows that the person with this, is probably going to be a leader of some sort as an adult. Shame on them all!

  • STEPH

    So very sad. :( I feel for Levi. Sweetheart, I hope that you can overcome this and understand that some people, no matter what the age, are just mean and hateful. It doesn’t stop when you grow up, either, you just learn to cope (hopefully) with it better. Your mother seems very well grounded and concerned, and what mother wouldn’t be? What it all boils down to is it seems like people are now mad that Levi has proof of what goes on when “blind eyes are turned”. Hopefully, some of the kids in this school will help this kid out. Whether it’s just befriending him or just plain sticking up for him. I promise, being “cool” in front of your bully friends isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be….some of you will regret it when you get older.

  • Appalled

    Wow this really shows how ignorant this small hick town is. To the “parent” saying that Levi brings this on himself, do you take the same attitude towards the girls who are raped? What about the kids being slapped around, do they bring it on themselves as well? Oh honey you just shared with the whole world what an uneducated, self important, hick you are. To the ELECTED official, tell your bull dog driving you around as an elected official it is YOUR duty to make a statement, you need to grow a pair and not let her be your mouth piece, or the principle. It sounds like the school officials, parents, and kids need some education, compassion, and some tolerance. To Levi and his parents- fight for his right to be educated in a safe place whether that is in this horrid place, a special school, or home school.

  • Shanghai Tai LLC (@shanghaitai)

    I used to tell my kids to never escalate a verbal incident into a physical one. What kind of parent defends this?

    If the mother is reading this, I would suggest some self defense classes for your son. Find a good Tae Kwon Do school that is family oriented and emphasizes the art and discipline over the fighting.. It can be a very positive experience that will give your son self-confidence, which he needs to stand up to the bullies. He needs to learn to defend himself because you can’t always be there to protect him. The self confidence can even help him avoid a physical confrontation.

    My son is different too, But he went to Tae Kwon Do with me since he was about 4. The first week of kindergarten he defended himself against a 1st and 2nd grader combined. If anyone tried to bully him, they didn’t succeed. Even when he moved to a new school and was the smallest one there he held his own. My son grew in to a fine young man, as I’m sure this boy will also.

  • Where is the "heart" in the Heartland?

    Truly disgusting and disheartening!
    I think this whole town should gather for a viewing of the very important documentary “Bully” by Lee Hirsch. EVERYBODY needs to see it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/movies/bully-a-documentary-by-lee-hirsch.html

    Appalled, right on!
    To the Simmons family, and Levi, hugs to you and hang in there!
    My little son has Asperger’s (ASD), as well. It is hard for outsiders to understand because kids look like “typical” children.
    I’m sure all those ignorant assholes in that town are “good, church-going Christians” who follow the golden rule, too. @@

  • Ann Nobody

    Not a MD resident but have a child with adhd, and a child who was bullied by a kid who was bullied. I also have a nephew who is too mentally disturbed i will not subject my family to be around him for their safety.

    My adhd child I must remind how to speak to others, I also correct immediately no matter how inappropriate the comment or interruption may be. I am very mindful to listen to her interaction with other children. She is not one with outbursts or is disruptive. Her school has integration of kids with more learning disabilities. I have seen complete disruption in the class and violence conducted by the kids with very similar problems as the boy with aspergers. If a child is known to have violent outbursts they should never be alone with others period. Every child has a right to an education but it should not be compromised by one individual. As a parent with a child like this wouldn’t hou want to protect them as well as others?

    As far as bullying. Modern bullying is different than what most have grown up knowing. As much as people want to say “do you know what aspergers is? Maybe you should read up on it before commenting…” I ask people this “do you know what bullying is? Do you understand the dynamics to being a bystander? Do you understand the ones who claim to be bullied are often bullies themselves?” My oldest would back down from the bullying because her bully was the one who was bullied. She also felt she could help them and didnt want to appear to be the bad guy. Turns out this bully was the product of her own doing and manipulated others to think she was blameless. This person will grow up to be a narcassist. You know those types. So when it was brought to the attention to the disciplinary board people were shocked until they bore witness to an actual incident. Belive me it took a long time, many discussions of how my daughter should handle this on her own, speak up and stand up for herself. Well she did all of that and it would never end. Until I made everyone accountable and hard evidence was presented and witnesses stood up. Was there ever any disciplinary actions taken? Of course not because too many people of authority did not up hold othed code of conduct violations of others. They placed themselves in a litigatable situations.

    I think there is fault to both sides of this story. People grow weary of turning a cheek just because someone else lacks having a social filter regardless if it caused by a mental illness. Parents with children with these types of illness need to realize when it is time to seek better help for their specific plight. It is for their safety and well being and for others. If the story about chasing a small child down the street with a baseball bat down the street doesn’t clue you in then you the parent contribute to the problem. This includes the parent of the child who was chased.

  • Nathan Olson

    I am a 24 year old young man with Asperger’s Syndrome. I was diagnosed at the age of 22 years old in 2011. When I read this article I was deeply offended by the insinuation made that this young autistic teen with Asperger’s “deserved it. And brought the bullying on himself”. I think statements like this show the discord between the genuine and sincere understanding of greater society of what Asperger’s is and the real life impact it has on all those whom are diagnosed with it including myself. It is a disorder that enables us to be very good at keen yet narrow interests. Yet our social ineptitude will be evident because it varies so much depending where one is on the spectrum. It is where social and non-verbal cues are harder to understand unless we are taught what they mean; social interaction with others and interpersonal relationships are very hard due to the nature of the disorder but in greater society our social ineptitude is perceived as “dumb, weird, or thinking we are intellectually-disabled thus deemed incapable” by peers. All autistic people and their families want is for their loved one to be treated with the dignity, respect, and worthiness their precious lives deserve. I have this rule that I hold true in my heart that when someone mocks or bullies an autistic soul, you don’t just hurt or offend that person, you in essence offend all of us who struggle yet persevere everyday of our lives to overcome and adapt to the many challenges our autism disorders presents us. Indeed they are individually unique yet we all hold that same sense of eagerness of life itself.

    As one who has researched and written a book on my own experience living with Asperger’s Syndrome in order to further understand who I am, I ask that you consider Autism in the context of a true and genuine identity that affects many lives and families throughout this country and the world. Autism is something that shall never define who we are, we define it in showing how having autism never hindered our pursuit of our dreams and goals throughout life. It is my sincere hope that this brings about a change in the perception of autistic people and empowers them to “have the courage to cross the bridge into an “Autistic America” by virtue of understanding our perception and view of society. While also seeking to understand the challenges we face and how one person’s courage to truly understand our identity can empower and transform the lives of autistic people all across this country. We are called upon to serve the greater good of humanity by lifting up those whom have challenges yet are worthy human beings that seek to be accepted and loved for being who they are. I leave with the thought of saying I have never felt so free in my own life in the sense of my identity. Many autism disorders are hard to detect like Asperger’s Syndrome, so we owe it to ourselves to not judge a soul on what we don’t know and work to become a more educated unity on how we can best help the cause of lifting up autistic people and their families throughout the world.

  • Jason Hickman

    The principal should be fired. It is up to the kids to self-discipline each other? Utter garbage. So if someone comes up and punches the principal in the face and the local cops say: “Well, sir, it is up to you and the other citizens to self-police,” that is an acceptable answer? It is an invitation for more violence. The teacher who allows this behavior should be fired and I strongly recommend a civil suit against the teacher, personally, the principal, personally and the school as an entity. The video can be retrieved easily and used as key evidence even if “deleted.” Who ever his teacher is: you are a pathetic human being or low moral fiber! And the principal? I feel sorry for this school under his ‘leadership’ (i.e. total lack of it).

  • Fanny Addams

    Gosh this sounds like a school that I sure wouldn’t want a child of mine to attend. We here in NZ have our problems but are very pro active when it comes to bullying in schools.

  • E_A_F_MiddleSchoolTeacher

    The principal is unbelievable…”ultimately, it’s got to come down to the kids to stand up for…” yes that is part of it but it is the principal and teacher’s job to keep these children safe AND create a culture where students will stand up for each other. This story illustrates a culture where it apparently is OK to bully (using school property no less). These kids should be ashamed of themselves, their parents should be embarrassed and more importantly, the school should take responsibility and deal with what is clearly a problem in their school culture.

  • MaxRay

    Shame to the parents of the bullying children. Thanks for teaching them how to get away with rape in the future i.e. “She was asking for it.”

  • Nadia Hamilton

    I was bullied growing up and it’s not fun for any child to go to school and be afraid of what’s going to happen next. People can be cruel and they can get worst if they are stopped on time, before you know it, they will be in jail for assault or murder.

  • Fisherman808

    This story is irresistible, but mostly because of the comments. You begin to realize that there is a pervasive angry lynch mob mentality in Melcher; it is troubling but also indicative of what is going on in in many parts of our country. Where does all this me-oriented, group hate come from? Why is there such a need to judge others and cause harm to those that are deemed different?

    There appears to be general acceptance, or at least a resignation, in Melcher that picking people apart, especially those we don’t like/don’t agree with/don’t want around us, that hurting them emotionally and even physically is justified, even good. Many of these comments made me remember an incident when I was in Wichita, Kansas, a somewhat close neighbor to Melcher Dallas, Iowa.

    While driving with my brother to somewhere, I noticed a nice, well-kept house whose windows were boarded up. Asking my brother about this, he simply stated that a “weird” guy lived there and that kids often threw rocks at the house. His ho-hum response was concerning since we grew up in a community where such violence would never have been tolerated.

    Pressing the matter, it became apparent that adults in the neighborhood, including the police, actually supported these kids’ actions. Because the weird guy had broken no law and was proven harmless, however, the police could do nothing to him. As such, some in the community decided to take matters into their own hands and took action to drive this weird guy out of the neighborhood. Curious about such a community based action, pressing the matter further, my brother interestingly admitted that everyone knew that he posed no danger to anyone. They simply did not like him; he was too different.

    A few days later while at the local mall, we happened upon this “weird” guy. Judging by his somewhat disheveled appearance, he certainly was different. But it occurred to me that this was truly where the problem lay. We were judging him by how he looked and not by his character. Apparently, no one in the community had even bothered to speak with him. It was easier to condemn him by the fears stirred up by others.

    A very wise teacher once brought to class two mugs and held them up for all to see. One was clean and shinny white. The other was covered with mud. She then asked everyone to vote on which they would prefer taking a drink from. Unanimously, everyone chose the shinny white mug. Then she turned the mugs so we could see the insides. Although the shinny white mug was clean on the outside, it was full of mud on the inside. Vice versa, the mug covered with mud on the outside was shinny and clean on the inside. I will never forget this lesson. It sounds like Melcher Dallas would greatly benefit from a teacher like her.

    Levi does not sound like a saint (pun intended). He needs to be socialized regardless of his medical condition. No one should make any excuses for anyone who is endangering the safety of another. But neither is it smart or right to teach kids to drive him away.

  • M.O.

    Dawn,

    I completely applaud you and your efforts to continue to fight the growing epidemic of bullying. I wonder though if its too much to allow your son to continue to go through. I just don’t think I could allow my son to be tormented by other kids and then further have the parents and school administration further condone and justify this disgusting treatment of your son. These public schools get their funding from the bodies that are sitting in desks every day. I wonder if every parent would refuse to allow their child to remain in a school where the administration does essentially nothing and condones the mistreatment, if all those bodies just up and left. Would the hard hit to the schools budget be enough to make them wake up and stop turning a blind eye?? News flash for all you parents that don’t stand up for this child or condone your child treating him like this… If the administration won’t do anything to correct things what do you think they will do for you when your child becomes a target of bullying?? No child is immune from this epidemic now a days. The tables can be turned very quickly on your child. This is a very different generation of young people that have a self- entitlement complex. They feel entitled to say and do to whomever, whatever they want. There is no remorse, not empathy for those who are different from them. The sad part is you can totally see how and why they are that way. With lack of parental guidance and other adult authority (such as school teachers, principal etc) not helping to guide them in appropriate ways and behaviors…its no wonder. Honestly for his sake and safety I would remove him from that school and not allow him to be mistreated by anyone who refuses to try and understand his unique condition. He should be surrounded by those willing to help and understand him.

  • kelii nahalea

    This is pathetic to think that you hold this young man with special needs or conditions which ever you prefer to use to his action which he doesnt have 100% control over.Bullying is no were near the solution to this problem.I personally stand up an against bullying.I will stand up for Levi..No matter what he has done it should be somewhat not completely be tolerated because of his condition.If you dont know how to deal with it then leave him alone an dont bother him.To his parents I will be happy to stand up an angaist this wrongful behavoir in behalf of Levi

  • Michelle

    Was this a contest for supreme moron?! First you have a completely ignorant principal that should be fired – students should police themselves?? Second you have a brain dead school board member that needs his wife to speak for him. Third you have the parent of a bully blaming the bullying on the victim. Now the entire US knows what low-lifes you people are….

  • newnoz

    I lived this as a child. It results in PTSD on top of Aspergers.

    Now we have laws. Perhaps his mom wants a good disability lawyer to talk to.

    I also would say that anyone who calls anyone a moron is not getting that two wrongs do not make a right. It is not their intellectual capacity that is skewed but their moral compass. Not all people there should be tarred with this brush. This school got caught out. It happens everywhere. If it was only them it would be so great. We could fix it and move on. We have to address it everywhere. In ourselves too.

  • Far far away in another small town

    Wow. The people of Melcher-Dallas are not showcasing themselves well in this comment section. For every few sane comments or concepts, there are 10 that go off the rails within a few keystrokes. That seems very informative to me.

  • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

    Love is patient…This is one of the many godly traits I learned growing up in Melcher-Dallas. I patiently read through in the last few days of a TV station describing our town, and I hope I was the first of thousands to think, THIS IS NOT MY MELCHER-DALLAS! My patience (or silence, if you care) stopped when someone called our community “Ungodly.” God (and, yes, football :) ) was first and foremost to families and our community. Love is kind…Several times, I was the recipient of financial gifts from the community when the need was there; never to find out who the giver was. What has been reported first, giving the public the avenue to unfairly draw conclusions and bash the other 99% of the people in this town, is not kind; may I say it is irresponsible, and is NOT MY MELCHER-DALLAS. Love never fails…Year after year when I return to my little hometown, I witness group after group organizing functions, events, fund-raising for the good of the community, the school district, and their respective churches; without fail. THIS IS MY MELCHER-DALLAS! Love does not rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices in the truth. I urge you, WHO, to find the truth in your reporting without using the sensationalistic tactics that I have seen used during the reporting of this story. Report what would everyone should see, MY MELCHER-DALLAS. Step back and find the real heart of the community. I can tell you that it is definitely there! I feel it every time I visit, from the people who never forget me or to smile at me and remember me just like I was as a child .I feel it from the solid education that I received and that I use every day; and, from my family members who have happily entrenched themselves further into this community to experience the sports history, town spirit and Saint Pride. And, from the great people that I have met who have made Melcher-Dallas their home since I left–all of is where the love exists…and the heart of the story. I challenge you, WHO, to take up this story and report the real Melcher-Dallas, not just the surface. Find MY MELCHER-DALLAS. There are, in the end, three things that last: faith, happiness, and love, and the greatest of the three are love. I learned all of them there.; especially love. (Oh, and feel free to quote me; and I’m sure God will be okay with it, also).

  • Big Hugs

    There are a few of us trying to showcase the good people of MD, but none of you are responding to us! Happy Friday. Be careful on your way to work. The roads are a little icky and the deer are moving.

  • liveoakcellars@sbcglobal.net

    It is so concerning that the parents of the children hassling and humiliating the disabled child choose to defend their children’s action, rather than using this as an opportunity to teach their children compassion.

    • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

      Let’s make the fact be known. One person in this community (albeit an important player) stated his opinion when the father was filmed. Do not judge an entire community on one man’s (or even two or three) comments. Step back and consider. What was not reported? In the end, the solution should be a good one for Levi. Let’s talk solutions instead of blame. I know this community and if they were fully informed of all issues, they would wrap their arms around the problem. Instead of pointing fingers and blaming, why not support those in the community that would love to help this child? Challenge to WHO-TV: instead of reporting some facts for a story, why not change your tactics and work with the issue and report on what good could come from this. Find out the plan that the school has to help this child. Make journalism something to be proud of and help Levi instead of making a story. I put out another challenge to the reporter–use your position to make a difference.

  • Miya

    Congratulations….you are now known as the town who bullies autistic kids and applauds physically assaulting them. You must all be so proud.
    Those are some morals you are teaching your kids. How terrible it must be to be a child with special needs in such a place.

    This story is now international. Everyone knows the kind of people you are, and it isn’t flattering.
    I guess we really shouldn’t expect more than that from a small town in Texas.
    But maybe you should expect more from yourselves.

  • LC

    The school’s response to this situation is just so wrong. It’s up to the students to stop bullying a kid with a disability? Um no, it’s up to the adults to discipline the students for their disgusting behavior. All the people defending the school and the kids should be ashamed. Had the school and parents of the bullies reacted appropriately, this wouldn’t even be a story!!!!

  • Matt

    Reading these comments is just disturbing. I didn’t realize there were towns with so many uneducated, cruel people. It is no wonder the average household income in Melcher is only $36,000. I make over twice that as a single 27 year old… This entire town should be ashamed of their ignorance and cruelty. Step outside of yourself for a change and learn about others.

    • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

      Matt, how can you say that there are “so many uneducated, cruel people,” when only a few people from the town were featured on the news? Name calling only hurts the situation. Use your words for good.

      • Stina

        The ignorance shines through, darlin’! Dare to be the change ‘Proud Alumnus’! How are you making a difference in this situation?

    • Only Human

      Please Matt, don’t give in to mob mentality because the news station chose to air only the most incendiary comments. You are throwing flames on the fire and that serves no one, not even you.

  • WWJD

    Any believers and non-believers alike in that area ever hear of “WWJD”? Like any sinner, I forget WWJD more often than I’d like to admit. People that show no compassion for those with special needs are likely not going to change their minds about this story. Here are some interesting tidbits on Autism. 1 in approx 88 kids are on ASD (spectrum of autism disorders) and 1 in approx 55 boys are on it. There is a lot of information out there on the web and in the library. The ratio of kids on the spectrum seems to only get worse each passing year. It’s a very challenging thing for kids to deal with. Just because a kid appears “high functioning” does not mean they can keep their impulses in check as easily as a kid without these challenges. Show some sympathy and interest in making all our kids grow up healthier TOGETHER. Please search your souls and decide if you think it worth learning about. The Autism and special needs community could use as much support as it can get. What does society have to lose by modeling compassionate behavior and seeking to learn as much as it can for those who are not as strong to fend for themselves?

    • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

      To: What Would Jesus Do? Thank you for helping to turn this situation into an educational opportunity. That is what is needed; not finger-pointing at a whole community for a few people’s comments.

  • Starr Oceana (@StarOcean2087)

    There never is a “right” or “excuse” to bully another person. All those who are slamming Levi, are just as bad as those bullying him. Instead of slamming him they should pull their heads out of their butts and try to understand him. Autism as a teen isn’t easy. Especially not as an adult. I know becaus eI am 35 and with it.

  • Jennifer Tidd

    As the mother with 2 children on the autism spectrum, I almost never talk about “my autistic son” this or that. My sons are marvelous, remarkable human beings, who yes, also happen to have autism. My oldest is 21 and he’s brilliant, a voracious reader, an artist, has an amazing dry sense of humor, exceptionally handsome, and has his own style, he loves to take long walks out in the woods, and is a fanatic about music and classic film. Autism doesn’t define him, it’s only a small part of who he is. Yes, he has Asperger’s Syndrome, along with so many other marvelous traits. I suppose others find him odd, but I just see a person, whose interests actually, have been enhanced by his autistic traits. He has a singular focus on his interests and a passion for knowledge I have seen in very few people. I suspect Levi is much the same with his own passions. How tragic that these people in this town, including the principal and apparently the teachers who allowed this, saw him only as “an autistic child.” Perhaps if they’d made any effort to know what he is beyond his autism, which I am sure is vast, they’d have stopped seeing only his autism and what they perceived as strange or discomforting and gotten to know the boy with so much to offer, as much as any other child has to offer.

    My 7 year old is much more profoundly impacted by autism. He is entirely non-verbal, flaps his hands, makes the noises, and many of the movements, has the public tantrums. Yet still, through all that, he too is far more than his autism. He loves Star Wars, his 3 brothers, his family, Angry Birds, books, and has actually completely taught himself to read. He loves math and riding his bike. He loves to take long walks and he lives to swim.

    Most people see autism as a disability. I see the disability with a society who views people who are different as somehow flawed in stead of just different. Autistic people’s brains are wired entirely differently than the brains of neurotypical people, so their movements often, their reactions, or how they function simply differs from many of the rest of us. If Levi were a car, unlike all the Toyotas and Hondas in his school; if he were a Bentley, only wired differently from his friends, people would be in awe of him and wish they had one and envy the Bentley. They’d marvel at the car so much different and that looked and behaved differently, sounded different even, than all theirs. That’s how human beings are with things. What is most different and rare, we prize most and affix very high price tags and want to possess rare items. But with people, if they differ at all, or are a rarity in any way, if they dare to wave their hands differently, make different noises, or do anything out of the ordinary, they’re immediately tossed onto the dung heap of humanity and seen as flawed, someone to be laughed at, or pitied even, but never rare or special.

    Levi is rare, but those around him were too common and too afraid of his differences to hold him up as the gem he truly is. I don’t know anything about Levi personally, but I do know one thing, that he has a lot of really interesting things about him which define who he is, and autism is only a small part of that package. Why not focus on who he is in his entirety and not simply what he DOES which you find odd? Try treating him not like a freak of nature, but the rare and beautiful gem he is, a perfect specimen placed in your presence to be admired and loved?

    • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

      Very nice story of your beloved sons. God Bless. But, I would like to add information that I have gathered from reading posts…What I think has unfairly been conveyed in in this story was that all parties were not all aware of his diagnosis; therefore, they did not place this label on him until the directly before WHO-TV’s report came out. But I ask all of those reading this to understand that the community saw Levi as a bully, not of one with a private medical diagnosis and are only learning this, as you are, from the report. They knew that there were problems (I am basing this on the descriptions of the vandalism, including police and the court system, assumedly, from the posts). Please give this community a chance to stop, regroup, and form a new plan. Give them the time to help this young man before condemning the entire town, and/or the entire state of Iowa. The end result must be to help a young man with physical and mental issues and to help him be a productive member of the community in the future.

  • Chicago Ryan

    Parents cant be held responsiple all the time… But you know where this kind of behavior leads too. Kids bringing guns to school…suicide of bullied teens and social media play a huge part! If that video was my son or daughter…id be offended! Id also be even more offended that the parent(s) are defending this! Just think if was the other way around. Or your son gets shot with a gun,then the parent saying he deserved it! Wth??? Need to teach your kids tolerance! Obviously theyre smart enough to know the boy has issues. Dont get him started…walk away! Jeez…Its not the town,school or teachers fault, but the teachers should seperate them when act like that. And yes…if the boy has issues…he should be in special ed. Or confined classroom for behavoir problems. Dont be part of the problems. Do something to resolve it now! Better yet send your kids to chicago public schools for a week or two…theyll be more tolerant!

  • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

    Yes, exactly. Tolerance is what everyone needs; all of us. Now that this issue has fully been brought out in the light, I am hoping that this will be part of the education that the school district will be conducting. And, agreed. Let’s resolve it! So maybe instead of the social media coming down on this small community, maybe it would be great for educators and/or people in-the-know to start posting suggestions on what they have done to help solve similar issues. I think that is a great suggestion! Help this community instead of judging them on a few people’s comments…God helps those who help themselves. Let’s help give them the tools to help their own community.

  • Only Human

    Can we agree on a few things?
    1. Humans are fallible and make mistakes- we have all fallen short of the glory of God.
    2. Humans feel more comfortable when they are part of a like-minded group.
    3. Humans want to be right. Hence the persistent need to make others wrong.
    4. Humans are drawn to drama. Hence our obsession with reality based television shows and sensational “news” stories.
    5. Humans have a hard time letting go and forgiving. Hence the need to bring up past hurts, real or perceived.
    6. Humans can make attempts to transcend these failings by reading God’s word to determine his path for us.
    7. Dogs are awesome!! (Just a little humor…sorry)
    I read all of the comments on this subject and am sad to see how few of them were rational and emphasized the need for civility and cooperation. Most of them seemed to be people who were having trouble letting go of their own negative experiences and hoped to demonize an entire town based on a few comments. These comments were taken out of context, presumably in order that WHO TV could present a sensationalized story. Some of the comments were very intelligent and thought-provoking and for that I personally thank you. I don’t consider myself to be biased on this subject, however I am a mother of a son who could have been killed by a classmate with autism. My son was attacked from behind and slammed head-first into a schoolyard blacktop. He sustained a serious concussion. As a school employee I had first hand experience with the child and felt very uncomfortable that he was allowed to freely interact with the other children- he was a very negative and volatile child. My experience with him was that he was usually the aggressor and while I understand that he may not have had complete control over himself, my question was this…should he have been allowed unsupervised constant contact with the other children? I asked for and was granted a conference with him, his mother and the principal. I wanted to determine if the child and/or the mother understood the gravity of the situation and what the outcome could have been had my son been killed by a fractured skull or broken neck. I heard absolutely no apology and no accountability from either the mother or the son. Once again, maybe the child did not have the capacity to determine right from wrong as he railed about his hatred for the other kids in the class. However, what troubled me the most was the fact that the mother, rather than apologizing for the incident, went on a rant to let me know that her son was being picked on by ALL of the children ALL of the time. This in spite of the fact that I, as a school employee, had never witnessed anyone picking on him but had witnessed numerous occasions where her son verbally abused others, as well as myself. This interaction with the mother let me know that her son would never feel accountable for his actions and was encouraged to blame others. This brings me to my concluding questions which I think need to be answered in order that these problems can be resolved.
    1. How can we best educate ALL children when there are increasing numbers of children with special needs?
    2. How can we expect CHILDREN to behave as ADULTS in a school setting by expecting them to deal with a myriad of behavior disorders? I am not using the phrase “kids will be kids” lightly but let’s face it, they only have the capacity to understand certain facts. They are still kids and they will make mistakes.
    3. Will we be able to afford training for both students as well as teachers to deal with autism spectrum disorders, ADD, ADHD, ODD and a host of others? This includes the cost of individual aides for each student.
    4. Where does parental responsibility come in?
    5. When does one student’s right to public school infringe on another’s right?
    6. What has gone wrong in our society? Why are so many people expecting so much from others while requiring so little from themselves?
    7. Which rules will special needs children be expected to follow? And what will the punishment be for their misdeeds? A “normal” child would have been expelled for slamming my son head-first into the pavement- the special needs child was not.
    In less than 100 years we have gone from a society of people, mostly born of immigrants, who were hard working, self reliant and took personal responsibility for their families (most, not all of them of course). We currently are increasingly a nation of irresponsible, entitled, self-absorbed, immature and greedy people. This does not include everyone of course, so please don’t accuse me of painting everyone with the same brush. However, I believe we have reached a tipping point and our nation is in a perilous situation. We can continue to worry about ourselves and what people can do for us, or we can assume responsibility for our failings and look to our Creator for the only help that will redeem us. I have great empathy for parents dealing with special needs children and know many parents who are doing an excellent job with their children. Let’s express our support for those parents and band together to make thoughtful choices to help ALL of our children!

  • kimmy

    My godson has Aspergers, ADHD and has a horrible case of stuttering. He is 14 years old and has been suspended from school more times than i can count, and is picked on and bullied and ridiculed daily by his peers. Here in Canada there are a limited amount of schools that can handle students like him, and the ones that do are private schools and cost a life savings to attend. I feel your pain Dawn, i have had to comfort and explain to my godson the ways of the world, and how people mock and make fun of what they do not understand. The parents, teachers and students alike need to be educated on your sons condition by a professional. There needs to be a day where this kind of needless and senseless bullying and torment needs to stop. Too many young people are making the choice to end their lives because of bullying and abuse. We need to take a stand, whether your child is of special needs or not, every child deserves an education and a happy healthy childhood experience. Good luck in your struggles and just know there are people behind you. Please everyone…learn to love each other and grow on forgiveness and tolerance!

  • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

    Have all of you read the excellent writing by “Only Human” above Kimmy’s quotes?

  • WWJD

    The school system is failing and so is society in general. There are glimmers of hope and progress seen with schools and special needs in many cases. But they are not used and applied heavily enough across the norm. Tell me why we focus are requirements such as a foreign language class starting in elementary school setting in many regions whereas we don’t REQUIRE classes on working with others that have disabilities, special needs, elderly care, etc? At my Catholic high school we were required to do a “Faith In Action” class like that in the 80s my senior year. I wondered even then why the school waited so long to require our involvement in such a program..the kids and elderly with special needs were grateful but we as students received a great lesson and rewarded by the experience for a lifetime. Sure, most of us sign up and throw money at charities as often as we can and that is good. But we as a society (whether we admit it or ignore) are nearing an epidemic as more and more cases of kids and adults with special needs. You can ignore the alarming change in the ratio or you can wake up and ACT! We might ask what gives these kids more of a right than the kids without the special needs all we want. My answer is that the bottom line is that not everything is equal. I wish it were. If we continue to live under that illusion we will continue to fail. Keep your eye on the ball instead, which is to say like “ok, this sucks that SOMETHING is causing an increasing rate of kids having these various special needs, but they will be adults someday like everyone. Time to work on this challenge starting by raising awareness and teaching other kids about this nearing epidemic.” Sure, kids will be kids…and they will miss the rewarding opportunity and what I perceive as a REQUIREMENT to work, engage, befriend and help others “less normal” if we continue on as we have been. I don’t want hear about money in this ridiculous landscape of spenders like they are drunks in congress. Entitlements are everywhere…if ALL kids are not entitled, have the rights or whatever you want to call it, then why do ANY? Don’t give me the “survival of the fittest” argument either…like I said, we all end up adults…think how bad things can get in the workplace with productivity, etc if we don’t intervene collectively NOW? If you refute this, you are ignoring what is in plain sight and you must be either a) willing to just leave society behind completely and fend for yourself or b) just don’t care because it takes too much emotional maturity to care. Good luck to us all in the future. We can pray all we want, but as a believer I subscribe to the idea that God helps those who help themselves. So how can we help ourselves here? Wouldn’t learning about all this special needs stuff and caring for people of all types have as much if not MORE merit than learning how to say “Apple” in a foreign language? After all, most of us don’t use the foreign language after high school anyway. I’m not saying there is no value in learning foreign languages, rather just using it as an example of how much we really NEED to learn it compared to needing to learn about sensitivity, accepting as part of our community, nourishing skills, and encouraging talents of those with special needs. Here’s the kicker, we could learn BOTH. And the earlier the better. Time to put some faith in our actions.

  • WWJD

    Sorry, but I don’t want to hear any griping about money for resources for kids with special needs. We should be happy to “throw money at this problem”. We as Americans do that all the time. Entitlements are everywhere. If ALL kids do not have rights, entitlements or whatever we want to call it to be educated, then we are truly lost as a country. We can have elected officials spend like drunkards wastefully on so many other programs, yet we actually have the audacity to question whether we should spend money on kids with special needs or how much? Seriously. Take it as an investment. Because like it or not, the ratio of children with these unique challenges is on the rise. 1 in 55 boys Autism Spectrum. 1 in 85 kids overall. Do you think that ratio is going to get better? Try a little simple Google search on Autism Spectrum Disorder Rate Among Children and you should find how fast that ratio has worsened. I haven’t even talked about other challenges like ADD, ADHD, ODD, Bipolar, etc.

    Interesting thought: many schools REQUIRE kids to take a year or two of a foreign language. My kid’s elementary school requires Spanish class once a week. So, most people leave high school learning on how to say “Apple” in a foreign language among a few other helpful words and statements. The retention of this education is usually minimal because usually they don’t pursue the study of the foreign language and/or use it in the workplace.
    Yet we throw money at that type of education every year and require that it be learned in many schools. I’m not bagging on that because I see value in learning other languages and about other cultures (it was one of my favorite subjects). I’m just saying in comparison, how much value is there for that compared to nourishing morals, working with people of different needs, learning about mental health, etc? There is a very strong likelihood that you will be working around someone that does not fit the mold of the “normal” way of learning, working, collaborating, speaking and socializing.

    Money is not the solution, but it is part of what will be needed to ramp up resources and knowledge to work with kids of all types of needs. Sorry, America, this isn’t just a matter of throwing money at the problem once a year and walking away with the “well I’ve done my part” attitude. We actually have to suit up and show up and help others less we be confronted with a major hit on productivity in the workplace and society in general in the years to come. Time to let go of old ideas, engage and confront this challenge head on.

    I hope all the parents take action. Those whose kids have been threatened by baseball bats, bullets or otherwise should report it and see something of consequence. Those whose kids are being bullied.
    Don’t just sit back and let it happen! Special needs or no, kids need to learn about morals and how to prevent this kind of story from spinning out of control.

    To those who have a problem with the media: yes, the media “sensationalizes”. Often, that’s actually the artsy way they get their brand sold. Every cable news I’ve seen does it. I’m not excusing it, I’m just saying that’s the “beast” that most “news” organizations have become. But it can be used positively too – look we’re talking about autism, bullying, autism and bullying in small town, USA. One would think that a smaller community wouldn’t have quite the problem with that as we see in bigger cities with worse teacher:student ratios. But apparently, it can happen anywhere. If you want a straight news story, collect from all sources, search your soul, reflect on it and decide what you think. Sorry this story was uncovered. Sorry you’re on the map now for “Autism and bullying”. Now what are you going to do about it? Continue to gripe or use the opportunity. I think a smaller town has the potential to become a great model for bigger towns in this scenario. I think Melcher Dallas can be a great example if they work on it. I say Saints should live up to their name and go for it!

  • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

    Perfect. Sane thoughts with sane challenges. Everyone may not agree with all of the solutions posted, but that’s what we need. A forum of ideas to fight bigotry, intolerance, and yes, bullying! Go for it Melcher-Dallas! Show the world the great stuff you are made of!

  • BP

    Unfortunately a town and a great school and great people were victims of bullying here also. Thanks Channel 13 for this. There was really no story here at all…. I recognize that bullying is a story. I recognize that meeting the needs of autistic and other special needs children is a story. The thing is, the people, teachers, and yes principal of Melcher Dallas recognize this too. In more ways than anyone here can even know. Before you all jump on the self-rghteous bandwagon, assuming the problem is limited to this small group of people and that your children would never respond improperly, please know some facts.

    1. The principal of the town does not condone bullying. His statement had to be generic in regards to the investigation. He is well educated, compassionate and holds students accountable for improper behaviors. If, for example, the students in question were suspended (!!!!they were!!!), that isn’t something he can’t talk about on the news. Perhaps his inexperience caused him to answer the reporters question “isn’t this a bigger problem than either of us can handle on our own” If he had said, “no it’s not a big problem and we can certainly handle it on our own” well, that would have been another wrong answer. Instead he said that it ultimately will come down to students who have to stop the bullying. Whether that be through education, better parenting, harsher punishments, etc….its true. He didn’t say that he wasn’t worried about it and that the kids will just have to go it on their own. Yet that’s how the media wanted it to sound. Congrats to them for having all the power to try and ruin the career of a young, committed professional. If you would do more investigating,you might find that he has more experience than most with autism and that subject is near and dear to his heart.

    2. The aunt who said her nephew fought back does not live in Melcher Dallas. the nephew is a little guy…younger…we don’t know what issues this child may also have, do we? The comment came out of a discussion as to how students are supposed to respond to Levi’s violent behaviors. Yet, it sounds like he was “just” called a name. I wonder what the name was..or could it have been very hurtful to this little guy also? So shall we say that name calling isn’t bullying? Is a video bullying then? Again, that was one comment, taken out of context, from another heated conversation by an aunt trying to protect her own nephew. I don’t know the boy personally….do you?

    3. The video involved nose-picking… Awful. Take it down.. Done. Do worse things happen every day on social media. Probably. Cyber bullying is happening constantly. If you think kids in your town are always polite on facebook, take another look. There was one teacher (a substitute) in the lunchroom whose back was turned. I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose, however, unfortunately, teachers can’t see everything no matter how hard they try! There wasn’t one regular teacher interviewed – or if they were – none of the interviews were aired. These teachers are from Iowa where ALL teachers are trained, mandatory reporters. They deal with bullying and try to combat it every single day. Guaranteed.

    4. So all of the students (all classes) in Melcher-Dallas should be sat down and told WHO is on the autism spectrum…name their names….explain that they can’t be held accountable. I bet in all the other schools in the country the kids wear a big old badge that says what their disability/diagnosis is and assume all of the kids are capable, then, of knowing how to properly respond. No badge – all bets off… This is ridiculous people. Those with disabilities do not want to be labeled and put on display. Yet that is what all of you are doing to this boy. I’ve also heard (shudder) other names thrown out here. Please, please, give people some privacy.

    5. The father of the bully…also has not lived in Melcher-Dallas for long – maybe less than a year. He looked nervous on tv. To his credit, he said when they saw the video they made the son take it down. He also said bullying should not be tolerated. (neither aired) Again, the reporter asked him an impossible question…bait….leading…”does Levi bring some of this on himself?” To which, the poor nervous wreck of a father, said maybe 3/4. Wrong answer. Again,he concluded with something about how it’s no excuse for bullying. That of course didn’t get aired either.

    This is why movie stars and politicians only say “no comment”…..you cannot win with slanted bully tv stations. I always thought the only people who did this were Star and Nt’l Enquirer…but wow, our own local Channel 13 as well. What did Melcher-Dallas do to you who-tv??? Aaron, maybe some girl from there broke your heart?

    So many things you all don’t know. Please do not jump on the bandwagon before you do.

  • WWJD

    Change the game. The media wants the rift in the community/negative news is one way to look at it. Or the media wants awareness raised is another way to look at it. Decide how you think as a community you should engage in this story. Do you want to perpetuate the rift? Or do you want to use this as launching pad for raising awareness on bullying, autisim, engaging in conversation with all kids every day, etc. No badges are necessary. EVERY kid should be treated with respect. From both sides of this story I’m blown away that all the disrespect has gone on. I know it happens everywhere. But we really need to get back to some basics. Eat dinner at the dinner table every night. Start there. Maybe talk with kids more often. I really don’t know all the solutions. I am very aware that there is a lot less conversation and guidance for kids nowadays than when I grew up. Digital babysitters, poor diet and exercise are on top of the list to blame on the health of our country. How are we to socialize ALL kids if we don’t engage them in activities that might spark a conversation about morals, playing fair, playing your hardest, respecting others, etc?
    I’m curious because I don’t have kids in high school yet. Why can our children upload videos to the internet from a public school system’s computer? Did that happen at the school? Or away from the school with a borrowed school laptop?
    Do have to let our children have access to the internet for UPLOAD capability in the school system? (I’m not saying INTRAnet, but rather the INTERnet). I can see the possible need for file sharing on the schools local area network, but I really don’t see the educational need to upload a file/video for the whole WORLD to see on sights like Youtube.
    Enlighten me. (no scarcasm – I seriously don’t understand the need).

    Rise in social media use seems to parallel the decline in physical world social skills. How ironic.

  • dp

    Another example, one of many every year in every state, of trickle down ignorance and bitory on two fronts; from the school administrator to the principle to the kids, and from the parents to the kids. I read many postings from students at that school and the school definitely needs to focus on educating the students more intellectually and emotionally instead of just being a babysitting service!
    To all the parents and kids out there that see this as bullying and intolerance keep on educating others how to be human! Time to stand up for each other instead of stomping on each other because you can or until they can not take it any longer!

  • BP

    Just a guess…students have to be able to upload because that is how assignments are turned in. I don’t think the upload happened at school or with a school computer but that’s not even the issue. I so agree that something good could come of this. What human being can’t benefit from giving more careful thought to bullying and children with special needs?

    Did you also know that Melcher-Dallas has a committee of parents, teachers and administration that meet monthly to discuss how to prevent bullying in our schools? Does your school have such a task force? Do you belong to one?

    Did you know that the school has a huge wall full of fears and dreams written by students for the ‘TWLOHA’ (to write love on her arms) project. THese are good kids being led by good people.

    Unfortunately bullying exists. .. Everywhere. The scarey part for me is that people point fingers at Melcher-dallas and think it’s a problem THERE…well, thank goodness it’s not a problem
    HERE…that way I don’t have to deal with it. Seems so unhealthy to place this on a town rather than on our world.

    • WWJD

      “Posting video online using school issued computers” was a quote from the WHO news story. I don’t know if that is accurate, but if it is, I see no reason for a school issued computer checked out/logged into by a student to allow UPLOAD to Youtube or other website. A good cyber bullying prevention program in a school might begin with preventing uploading of files/videos to Youtube and other internet sites. There are ways to create a site for turning in assignments that still prevents access to other sites. Again, I don’t know the exact details other than what the WHO video said about them using “school issued computers” to post the video online. We couldn’t get through my son’s IEP meeting without the app they were using for read/edit crashing every few minutes.

      Are there many useful reasons we should allow social media use during the hours the students are at school other than for emergencies? I can imagine it might be useful for emergencies as information can be spread with Twitter, etc rather quickly. But back in the old days, an emergency situation was taken care of rather quickly using a phone in the office or the intercom. I’m not trying to distract from bullying, but rather bringing into the discussion how important it is that we don’t embolden bully talk and behavior online during school hours on school issued hardware. People get the equivalent of liquid courage with all their online talk and bullying (refer to many of this page’s various comments for examples). In the school system, we should not set our cyberbullying prevention policy for failure by allowing unnecessary access to websites while logged into school computers or WIFI.

      I think having a committee of parents, teachers and administrators to discuss how to prevent bullying is a great idea. That’s is a great program. I will check my kid’s school for the same. That is the kind of positive news that needs to spread. Thanks for sharing!

      How do we engrain the activities/behaviors into our children’s moral fiber? Someone mentioned something to the effect that our schools should not be just glorified babysitting services that teach some math, language and science on the side. We really need to get back to moral conduct 24/7.

      Great discussion.

      • Tommy

        I feel that kids under 18 should not even be using social media at all. I know of parents that give computers and smart phones to kids and let them do what they want. If parents want kids to use devices for social media they should have to sign a form taking responsibility for the kids actions. School computer should be used for learning and research needed for classes.

  • reversal

    How would school board president Bob Lepley, principal Josh Ehn, father of the bully who posted the video Levi Weatherly, and Jamie Harrison a person who supports violence against others feel if it were them being bullied? The school board would fire people, the principle would expel kids, the father would scream for justice and the kid would then be the one crying and wanting to be treated fairly. Yes, those people are just another pathetic example of bullying and denial from the top down in our society.

  • George G

    As I read these comments, what I find most distressing are the people who are more concerned with supporting their town than supporting a child who is being harassed. It simply is inexcusable and it is a clear example of why bullying occurs there.

  • Very Concerned

    ‘Neighbors Saying Bullying Justified’ – the title by Aaron Brilbeck as a follow-up report is not true, and this 1st report is very misleading. Mr. Brilbeck failed to investigate, follow-up, or report on many facts – leaving residents and students of this town vulnerable to the National Unmerciful Lashing they’ve received. From the following statements of students and residents, you may be able to distinguish what I have, – that multiple times of being suspended from school by the school – and grounded by his Mother – is not helping or teaching Levi Null.

    My personal opinion is that Levi’s parents have refused to accept that ‘mainstreaming’ Levi in a school system is a failure. I believe there are better teaching environments for Levi.

    – Statements –

    The video put online was showing Levi picking his nose in the lunch room.
    *** this was not stated in the WHO Channel 13 report.

    The student who put the video online was punished according to school policy and by his parents.
    *** this was not stated in the follow-up report by WHO Channel 13.

    The Junior High students received training on (I assume 11-15) according to ‘Karen’ on 11-19: “the Junior High was given training on Friday about what it is like to have autisim.”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    The student who cold-cocked (corrected term of his Aunt’s) Levi was punished. An eye witness to this ‘cold-cocking’ has stated “Levi was taunting all the kids up in the park that day. He call another kid a f****n N**ger, your nephew and a friend of his wanted to talk to levi about calling others names, and try to tell him to stop, and levi was on his bike and tryed to run your nephew over with his bike and your nephew picked up the bike tire and moved it so it wouldnt hit him and levi said, “oh is that the way its gunna be you P***Y.”
    ***The Aunt’s statement was not fully reported by WHO Channel 13.

    Evidently, the incidents between these 2 students was ongoing, because Dawn Simmons (Levi’s Mother) states “Ask Jen (the nephew’s Mother) who told her to tell the principal what Levi done to her son”. Dawn Simmons (Levi’s Mother) also stated “for weeks we was in that office everyday” – (referring to the principal’s office); and “I have a letter from the principal proving that my son has been suspended and in trouble many times for mistakes he makes”
    Levi Null has brought bullets to school and threatened to shoot other students. Dawn Simmons states “as far as bullets were empty shell casings ha enough from his dad’s home that he hid in his bag when he shown the kid the school took them he was suspended for 2 days and he was grounded at home”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    There are multiple instances over approximately 2 years history of children being threatened, hit, bullied, chased, and rock throwing BY LEVI in various places of the town.
    ***which shows me that Levi is unsupervised and does not have an adult with him, including instances happening during the evening.

    A MD student has stated “He has told me and many other people to go kill themselves.”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    Another MD student has stated “says he’s going to kill people and even threatened to me that he wold kill my mom with a sniper rifle.”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    Levi’s Mother refers to some of these instances by stating “My son isn’t allowed up town because it causes . Problems”
    *** but the date is unknown when she decided to not allow him to go ‘up town’, or whether Levi is adhering to that rule.

    Levi Null has had a history of being in the judicial courts, the amount of times is unclear, but his mother has stated there was 2 different properties involved. Dawn Simmons states “the bus barn and house the were taken care by police and courts”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    Several phone calls during this summer have been made to the police for an out of control teen.
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    Dawn Simmons states that her son:
    “has a phycitrist and a counsellor that he sees regularly”
    “takes meds on a regular basic”
    “has help mama since he was 7yrs old”

    The town of MD has a committee to address bullying. According to ‘Be Positive’: “There is an anti-bullying committee in Melcher-Dallas who had a meeting during Aaron’s (WHO Channel 13 Reporter) second visit to town”
    ***This was not mentioned in the follow-up WHO Channel 13 report.

    The latest post online by Dawn Blubaugh Simmons is: “I wanna give a huge shout out to the Melcher-Dallas students who have been amazing this week the kids have not bullied and many have apologized and they have really stepped up to show this community how we should stick together and make awareness to this and be adults about it. WAY TO GO -November 20 at 11:34 am
    *** This statement was not mentioned in the follow-up reported by WHO Channel 13.

  • Stina

    What the hell is wrong with the small minded idiots of this town? Picking on a mentally handicapped young man! Allowing the bullying to go on it totally inexcusable! You all should be ashamed!

  • Very Concerned

    Oh my! After going through my notes of all the quotes from Levi Null’s Mother, I missed her admission that the statements from other students of Levi’s aggression must be true.

    Dawn Simmons states:

    “all these kids saying Levi bullied them I’m not saying he didn’t there is Never an excuse for anyone hitting another student period .”

    “never did I say he was perfect”

    “I’m not saying my son is innocent”

    “I never said to anyone my son was innocent”

    “I’m NOT saying he is innocent”

  • XxY

    I would just like to say that, regardless of anybody’s disabilities or any bullying they may have participated in, nobody should get bullied. Some people have said that this boy has said and done some hurtful things, but that does not mean people should bully him. I have family members and know people with asperger’s syndrome and I know that people with this disability can not control what they say or do. This isn’t about the town, this kid, or his disability this is about the prevention of bullying. Nobody deserves this.

    • Tommy

      Its possible that the boy is lashing out because of the taunting he has received over the years. Sometimes you just have had enough.

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