There’s a story out today that isn’t about digital citizenship, but it’s blowing up on Facebook and it deserves more attention. It’s about plain old kindness and community.
At the center of the story is Jonathan Moran, a high-functioning autistic boy from Elizabeth New Jersey who attends Lincoln School, a special education institution in Cranford NJ. Jonathan was being bullied on the bus last Thursday and again later in the day. According to a Facebook post from one of the Linden Fire Department crew who responded to the call:
“Today we came across a kid that was being bullied and got into an altercation with a bunch of kids in a school bus. They were making fun of his sneakers and then proceeded to all beat him up. So when we showed up to assist him and heard the story we wanted to do something about it. Everyone at Linden Firehouse #1 chipped in and bought him a brand new pair of sneakers, a American flag, and a your mothers favorite fireman shirt to show him to stay strong and don’t let those bullies ruin his day.”
After stepping in and treating Jonathan’s bumps and bruises, the firefighters didn’t put him back on the bus but rather drove him home themselves. They then went out of their way to assemble the gifts and returned to his home later to deliver them.
Of course, it’s easier for a firefighter, or anyone in an official capacity, to stand up to bullies but let’s hope the message spreads. Anyone can stand up for victims and do something to help. Anyone can stand up to bullies and let them know what is going on is not right.
The posts from the Linden Firefighters above and the video that Jonathan’s mom posted to say thank you have almost 19,000 Likes between them.
I would like to take a moment to thank the Linden Fire Department for their generosity. Earlier today my son Jonathan Moran was assaulted on his school bus, he suffered minor injuries to his face, lips and mouth, it seemed to initiate with a he said she said type thing, that I am told Jonathan ignored, this apparently transpired on the morning bus ride to school. On the afternoon bus ride the student called Jonathan a “Cracker” and then proceeded to punch him in the face. For those of you that don’t know, Jonathan is high-functioning Autistic child. He struggles with self control and in the past would have not been able to maintain control in a situation of this type. He did, he did not retaliate, he did not say or do a thing and I could not be prouder! Linden Fire Department responded to the incident, and would not return Jonathan to the bus, and instead drove him home to me, as his injuries did not require an ER visit. During the ride the EMT’s were chatting with Jonathan and Jon shared his diagnosis with them and also some of his hopes and dreams for the future. Linden Fire Department just returned to my home and this happened. #bullying #autism #equality Thank You Brian Paster, Hilda N Jose Espinal and the entire Linden Fire Department for your generosity, and community service! You are truly heroes in my book! #WayToGoJonathan#AutismSpeaks All future information or changes to information will be posted on Jonathan Moran page.
Posted by Hope Moran on Thursday, October 8, 2015
Let’s hope they get 90,000 more.
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