Three Mountain Pointe High School students are facing felony charges after recording a teen with disabilities in the bathroom and then posting the video on Snapchat.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office confirmed all juveniles are being charged with a felony in connection with the incident.
The victim's mom told 12 News she just wants to raise awareness for special needs students like her son, Jordan.
“They hurt my vulnerable child. They disrespected my vulnerable child. They violated my vulnerable child,” said Jordan’s mom, Amanda Steele. She says her 19-year-old son has autism and an intellectual disability.
Last November, she says two female students and a male student recorded Jordan using the urinal at a school bathroom and then posted the video on Snapchat. She said the male student did the recording.
“With the video, he shared private body parts,” said Steele. “The boy that violated Jordan, he emailed and said, ‘I actually didn’t think I was bullying.' He saw it as ‘I was taking a funny video,’” said Steele.
She said all three teens were offered a plea to a lesser felony charge Tuesday at the Maricopa County Juvenile court, but all three declined.
The executive director of community relations for the Tempe Union School District said district officials have met and worked with Steele to help raise awareness about online bullying—for example, organizing a parent/student event to talk about the issue. However, Steele says she wants them to do more.
“The school has offered to work with me. They have agreed to help me help Jordan. But there’s been no inclusion training. There’s been no real change, and I was told it was going to take time. And I’m a patient person, but I want to see those changes happen,” said Steele. “Educate. Educate your kids on safe phone use and educate your kids on disabilities and differences and just human kindness and compassion."
According to Steele, all three juveniles are due back in court later this summer.