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Mum 'destroyed' after video circulates of students shaving son’s head against his will

Emily Brown

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| Last updated 

Mum 'destroyed' after video circulates of students shaving son’s head against his will

Featured Image Credit: 23ABC

A mother has said she feels 'destroyed' after footage of her son having his head shaved without his permission went viral.

The incident took place at Arvin High School in California and was caught on camera by bystanders, many of who recorded the scene on their phones.

In the clip, which Tyla has chosen not to share, the high school student could be seen using his T-shirt to wipe his eyes as other students used clippers to cut his hair against his will.

The student was left with bald patches as a result of the bullying, and the victim's mother, Avelina Santiago, has admitted the video is too painful for her to watch in its entirety.

She addressed reporters during an anti-bullying protest which took place in the wake of the incident, saying: "I’m destroyed. My boy is a very nice person, he’s very innocent. He just wanted to fit in and make friends. He wanted to be like everyone else."

In a statement to Tyla, Arvin High School said it was 'aware of the videos circulating social media channels'.

Arvin High School responded to the incident on Twitter. Credit: @ArvinHigh/Twitter
Arvin High School responded to the incident on Twitter. Credit: @ArvinHigh/Twitter

It added: "The behavior exhibited in the video is clearly unacceptable, and we do not condone bullying of any kind. When students or staff breach the boundaries of acceptable behavior, they will be held accountable for their actions, and the school will provide support to any affected students. The incident is being thoroughly investigated, and appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken."

The school also acknowledged the incident in a statement on Twitter, in which it assured that 'the school has taken and will continue to take action'.

"Due to the ages of those involved, disciplinary actions will and must remain confidential. We appreciate your strong emotions and anger toward this incident; the staff at AHS share your feelings.

“We do not condone these actions and please know we do educate against bullying. Please continue to have discussions with your children about bullying and how we can be better together," the statement continued.

A spokesperson for the Kern High School District told NBC affiliate, KGET, that two AHS employees, including a security guard, were placed on leave following the incident with Santiago's son.

The mother has received a wealth of support from students and other parents, with many gathering at the protest on 21 October and holding signs with messages such as 'Put an end to bullying'.

“I felt alone at first,” Santiago said, "but then I saw all the people who are supporting me.”

Actor Josh Gad is among those who have shown support for the student. Credit: @joshgad/Twitter
Actor Josh Gad is among those who have shown support for the student. Credit: @joshgad/Twitter

The high school student has also received support from internet users and celebrities such as Frozen's Josh Gad, who tweeted: “Every child who took part in this should be suspended or expelled. Also... you got a friend here. In fact, you have many friends. Bullies won’t win. Love you kid!”

The incident that took place earlier this month comes after another student at the school took his own life in August, after which their mother claimed that he was experiencing bullying.

The school and members of the community are now coming together to try and put an end to the bullying by arranging a SALT Walk, which stands for 'Save a Life Today'.

Topics: Parenting, News

Emily Brown
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