October is Bullying Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness on bullying in an effort to prevent it.
Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior including physical or verbal attacks. In recent years, cyberbullying has been added to the list of aggressive behavior with teenagers in schools.
On Sept. 25, Trent Irwin, a hearing-impaired student at Millsap High School was assaulted by members of the school’s football team during a sleepover at a teacher’s house after a homecoming game.
"One kid began to hold him down while another kid slapped him outrageously hard in the face and in between that they told him things like 'you're stupid,' you're ugly',” Trent’s father, Jeremy Irwin, said.
Jeremy shared the incident with details of the assault on Facebook, where users made the post go viral. Community members shared their frustrations and demanded justice for Trent with the hashtag #JusticeforTrent.
According to the Parker County Sheriff's office 17-year-old, Austin Patrick Gonzalez was booked and charged with assault causing bodily injury. The Parker County Sheriff’s Office says the incident is still under investigation.
Millsap ISD issued a statement saying, “The Millsap ISD administration is aware of recent bullying allegations and is working with local law enforcement to actively investigate the matter. Our district does not tolerate or condone bullying or harassing behavior, and we take accusations such as these very seriously.”
“What parents and teachers can do to prevent bullying is really act when our children are young and teach them that it’s never okay to say, hit or take things from other people and let them know they don't have permission," Preventative Services, Regional Victim Crisis Center, Chrissy Jones said.
The Regional Victim Crisis Center in Abilene helps provide education and preventative services in West Texas. For more information visit, regionalvictimscenter.org.