Christian Tumax: Rudder High School Student Suspended After Protecting Special Needs Student From Bullies
Rudder High School student Christian Tumax overheard some bullies picking on a special needs student, but it was Christian who ended up getting suspended after he stepped in to protect his friend.
The incident went down last week during the school’s lunch period. The 18-year-old Tumax was eating when he heard his friend yelling. Tumax said he turned around to see the special needs student being harassed.
Tumax said he has known the bullied teen for a while, saying he is a quiet student who sometimes has trouble making friends.
Watching the bullies pick on the special needs boy, Christian Tumax knew he had to intervene.
“I told the guys to be quiet and leave him alone,” said Tumax.
Tumax said he and the bullies exchanged words, and school administrators stepped in to pull them apart. But when those officials later looked at the school cafeteria’s surveillance video of the incident, it only caught the end of the incident, making Tumax look like the aggressor.
Though Christian Tumax said there were dozens of students who could testify that he did not start the incident, Rudder High School officials decided that day that Tumax would be suspended. Students were outraged over the decision, even starting the hashtag FreeTumax on social media.
Oddly enough, Christian Tumax seemed to understand the need for his suspension.
“They had to base it off what they saw in the cameras,” said Tumax. “They saw me go forward, and that’s the reason I got suspended.”
The incident was similar to another controversial school suspension. In California, Westlake High School class president Dominic Conti said a member of the school’s popular football team had been sexually harassing his sister.
When Conti’s sister complained about another incident of harassment, Dominic and his father got a security officer and confronted the teen, who then tried to strike Conti’s father. Dominic said he stepped in to stop the punch, but he ended up getting suspended for the incident.
Christian Tumax said he would do the same thing again if the situation arose, and Rudder High School officials said the incident won’t go on his permanent record.