A teenager with Asperger’s syndrome has given an important lesson to a gang of bullies who beat him up.
Rather than pressing charges, he recorded a 20-minute video about his condition for them to watch and learn about life from his point of view.
Gavin Joseph was tricked by a group of boys into thinking that they wanted to be friends with him, but they then violently attacked him because they felt his condition makes him ‘weird’ and ‘creepy’.
The teenager from Illinois has asked that instead of being punished, the attackers should be better educated about his life and his condition. He has also asked that the assailants each write an essay about Asberger’s and to undertake some community service working with people who have disabilities.
His courage stand against their ignorance was shared on Facebook by his mother Cortnie Stone.
She wrote: “Some kids were talking about how it’s weird that he’s always by himself, attending events alone and watching people, and that it was “creepy” how he wanted to be friends with people he didn’t know.
“Another kid that overheard that conversation decided to take matters into his own hands and become judge and jury, and this is the result of that. He didn’t ask questions, didn’t get to know Gavin, never met him, and didn’t give him a chance to leave.
“He was called to meet someone, surrounded by people he didn’t know, choked, punched, and left laying on the pavement so he would ‘learn his lesson’.
“Gavin is fine. He has mild concussion, a bruised oesophagus, the tip of his nose fractured, and hematoma in his eye, but nothing permanent.
“He did not press charges, but requested their community service be disability related, that they write a paper on Asberger’s, and that they watch a 20 min video statement he taped while their families were present so they could see the damage they did and hear the event from his perspective.”
She added: “I am so proud of him, and I hope a lesson will of this to all that hear about it.”