Parents in Prince George’s County, Maryland, say they’re heartbroken and looking for answers after their 14-year-old son, who has autism, was filmed at school while using the bathroom and then shamed on social media.
The ninth grade student at Largo High School was recorded by at least one classmate, who then posted the video online, his parents say. No one has been held accountable yet, they were first to tell NBC Washington.
“You don't send your children to school for them to be bullied, harassed, then have child pornography posted online by another child. It’s just ridiculous,” father Abdullah Davis said.
He and mother Aquenia Williams said they got a phone call a few weeks ago from the school’s principal asking them to identify their son in video posted to Instagram. When they watched the video, they saw their son with his pants around his ankles.
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“From what I saw, it was an individual in the footage in the doorway of the boys’ bathroom, either on Instagram taking the photo or going live while my son was using the bathroom,” Williams said.
“I was just heartbroken because, my son, he does have autism, and he wasn't even aware of what was going on,” she added.
Williams said her ninth grader functions on a third-grade level and did not know he had been recorded.
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He has an aide who is supposed to walk him to the restroom, she said.
“We also questioned where was his aide at the time,” she said.
Prince George's County Public Schools said in a statement: “The safety of students is our top priority. We do not not tolerate bullying or disruptions to our learning environment, and we deeply regret the experience this student endured. Largo High School leadership, upon learning of this incident, went through proper channels to investigate and keep the student's family informed every step of the way.”
No students have been held accountable yet, even with an ongoing police investigation.
Davis, the victim’s father, recounted having to talk with his son about what had happened.
“That as one of the hardest conversations I've had to have with my son, to let him know someone had exposed him like that. It hurts. It hurts as a man, as a father, as a parent. It really hurts,” he said, shaking his head.
The parents said they have tried for years to get the school system to place their son in a school that can better meet his needs.
County police told News4 they were investigating who is responsible for the video.
The school district said the student is using a more secluded restroom, for safety, and that while the security team has interviewed students, no one has been held responsible.