Wakefield School Investigates Slurs Against Student With Down Syndrome | NECN
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Wakefield School Investigates Slurs Against Student With Down Syndrome

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    A 15-year-old freshman at Wakefield High School in Massachusetts is speaking out after students made fun of her 17-year-old sister, who has Down Syndrome. She adds that being black and Muslim has invited more harassment against both sisters.

    (Published Tuesday, April 4, 2017)

    A Massachusetts teenager is speaking out after she says she and her sister have been the subject of ridicule at their high school.

    The 15-year-old Wakefield High School freshman did not want to be publicly identified, but told NBC Boston that on Monday, other students were making fun of her 17-year-old sister who has Down syndrome.

    "You're not supposed to make fun of people who can't defend themselves," the teen said.

    A boy sitting nearby the teens allegedly used Snapchat to make fun of her sister.

    "This boy sitting next to us, who I've never spoken to before, said 'I can show you a funnier picture.' Then he shows me a picture of my sister facing away from the camera and it's captioned, 'there's abortions for a reason,'" the girl said.

    The Wakefield Police Department confirmed that the school resource officer is investigating who took the photo, along with school officials.

    "Currently they're just trying to figure out who took the picture," the teen said. "What bothers me was that people were bothering her when everyone this whole time has been acting like they like her."

    The teen also says she's been called racial slurs in the past by kids at the school, but when she reported the incidents to the principal, it stopped.

    "We're black and Muslim which has basically been living as a walking target," the teen said.

    Wakefield Superintendent Kim Smith issued a statement Tuesday saying that Monday's incident violated the school district's "core values of respect and caring" and constituted clear discrimination.

    "A high school student shared a photograph of a classmate, with a particularly cruel caption, with other students. This is an egregious violation of our values and this behavior will not be tolerated," she said. "Any time our school administration receives a report of discriminatory language or behavior, as is the case in this incident, the issue is promptly investigated by school officials and the police department."

    Although Smith did not specify the punishment, the superintendent said when the person who snapped the picture is identified there will be action taken.

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