This story is deeply disturbing, to say the least. You've been warned.
An appalling video of schoolyard bullying in Missouri has gone viral. But this incident goes well beyond playground taunts. This time, there's a gun involved.
Emily Bridges of Independence, Missouri was shocked to see the video of her 13-year-old son Darren being viciously attacked. Her son, who is on the autism spectrum, was taunted and screamed at, which is bad enough. But her son's bullies force him to his knees and command him to kiss a bully's feet--at gunpoint. A real gun--not a toy--that could have gone off at any moment, pointed directly at the child's head. The gun is then pulled away, and the child is punched. They also stole money from him.
Deeply disturbing cellphone video of the incident rapidly went viral on social media.
Bridges told Kansas City's FOX 4 KC that when her son came home with bruises, she had no idea what had happened, until her other son showed her the video. "I was hurt," she told the station, "I was angry. I was crying. I was mad."
Bridges involved the police in Independence, Missouri, but they did not seem to take the incident all that seriously. "He just really said that they're minors. There`s not a lot that happens to them," Bridges said of the officer she spoke with. "They have to do community service. There's not a lot. I should just keep Darren away from there and keep him at home."
Since then, the boy pointing the gun at Darren, 17-year-old Alexander Schrader, has turned himself into the police, and two other suspects are in custody.
On social media, people were naturally shocked and outraged by this horrifying spectacle:
If this ever happen to any of my kids so help me it would be a full tactical raid kicking in doors. https://t.co/TqaVGW4hWO— illology (@illology)1540479227.0
My moral spectrum would be swayed if I ever see anyone touch my son let alone threaten him, but our a goddamn gun t… https://t.co/R2ehUkcc1e— Eli G Liranzo (@Eli G Liranzo)1540438121.0
How surprising that no charges have been filed yet. But if it were a black teen doing this then he would’ve been in… https://t.co/kuF1JzXxZY— Posey (@Posey)1540469143.0
Is this the world we live in now? https://t.co/8McdxCM4Vk— Elijah Otis (@Elijah Otis)1540448272.0
Do you still think there is no gun issue Americans? This is absolutely disgusting. I hate that this is becoming the… https://t.co/52hKiwpWc2— Inside The Scene (@Inside The Scene)1540431909.0
@nypost Bullying should be a taken as a serious offence and punishable. Too many children are taking their own lives...— sheila turinawe (@sheila turinawe)1540467638.0
@nypost .The 17 year old needs to be tried as an adult and maybe the others too. I would be more than outraged if s… https://t.co/3fOHJVfl41— Christine E (@Christine E)1540465857.0
How did these bullies get their guns? #SafeStorage #ChildAccessPrevention https://t.co/Rv17V6C7wW— Jr. Newtown Action Alliance (@Jr. Newtown Action Alliance)1540468256.0
@nypost This is a sad and scary reminder that as far as we think we’ve come, there’s still so much further to go.… https://t.co/SVaPMB0Io1— Christina Lee (@Christina Lee)1540418645.0
Who raised these kids???!! I need to know 🤬😡 How unspeakably vicious, traumatic & CRUEL This is what happens when… https://t.co/sXrObWlKHK— Holly Robinson Peete🧚🏽♂️ (@Holly Robinson Peete🧚🏽♂️)1540488915.0
Bridges also told FOX 4 KC that this isn't the first time her children have been bullied, and she blames the parents. "I think a lot of them don`t have parents that care," she said. She added, "I hope the other kids see this and see that those actions and those behaviors are not OK."
Might be time to throw out this America and get a new one. This one's definitely broken.