15-Year-Old Boy With Autism Was Ruthlessly Bullied By His Teacher, Who Tried To Get Him To Fundraise For Her And Failed, His Family Says

Date October 9, 2018

Troy Benson’s story

Troy Benson, a 15-year-old high school student from Sandusky, Ohio, always loved studying and taking part in other school activities, and he's been especially good at fundraising. Since Troy has autism, he’s in special education.

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One of Troy’s special ed teachers noticed his fundraising prowess and decided to use it for her own benefit. She gave the boy a fundraiser to benefit her daughter, with her daughter’s name on it, according to Troy’s sister, Trinity. Troy’s mom and sister threw the fundraiser away, but he received another one a few weeks later.

Troy’s mom, Christina Benson, decided to take action. Obviously, she wouldn’t let her son’s teacher take advantage of him. She took the issue to the school administration, who promised to talk to the teacher, and that’s when the bullying started. Troy was visibly shaken and upset after every interaction with the teacher.
The boy's sister wrote in a now-viral Facebook post.

The school 'talked' to her, which obviously didn’t do much. Considering after they talked to her she started bullying him. Telling him he couldn’t go on field trips, nitpicking at his clothing, allowing his library charges to stack up and then said to a librarian 'it’s not my problem', verbally abusing him at school, and more Troy hasn’t even told us.

The post went viral, and the Bensons received overwhelming support:

The boy’s family were frustrated with the school's inaction and took the issue to a higher level – the Sandusky City Schools Board of Education. The District Superintendent issued a formal reply, promising to get to the bottom of the issue.

No action was taken against the teacher and the bullying continued. Finally, Troy changed schools and, according to his sister, he absolutely loves his new school.

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What to do when your child’s teacher is a bully

Most teachers choose the profession because they love children and the subjects they teach. However, some people go into teaching because they want to feel empowered. And these teachers tend to bully their students.

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To deal with such teachers, the following may help:

  1. Document the details of bullying. Keep a record of the days when it happened, what was said or done specifically, witnesses of the bullying, and other pertinent info. Obtain pictures, videos, or audios of the incidents if such exist.
  2. Reassure your child that you stand by them. Tell your child to always report any bullying incidents to you. You may get help from a counselor if your child is nervous, anxious, depressed, and/or unwilling to go to classes because of the bullying.
  3. Encourage your child to focus on the positive interactions with classmates and other teachers. Help your child focus on activities they enjoy doing, especially if they involve a good, supportive company of people.
  4. Before taking the issue to the teacher (or counselor, or principal), talk to your child first. Make sure you got them right. You can go together if the child agrees.
  5. Before taking the issue to a higher level, try to resolve it at the school level first. Document your interactions with the people involved, so you’ll be able to make a solid case at a higher level if needed.
  6. Unfortunately, in some cases, no action is taken against the teacher and the bullying only intensifies because of the complaint. If that’s the case, you should consider transferring your child to a different school.

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Bullying should be always taken seriously, regardless of the perpetrator. Let your child know that you are on their side and keep them involved in your decisions regarding the situation. Bullying should not be tolerated!

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