At an early age, I was encouraged to see everyone as simply human, regardless of age, race, orientation or disability. Our uniqueness is what makes us special and our humanity is what brings us all together.
And as a substitute teacher, some of my best days are spent working in the special education classrooms. Seeing kids overcome adversity and find unique ways to thrive is so fulfilling. For that reason, the video below absolutely breaks my heart.
In the Germantown area of Philadelphia, a disabled man was minding his own business when a group of teens ganged up on him. One then sucker punched him in the face. In a state of complete shock, he fell backwards and stumbled away only to be struck once again. Their abuse and laughter are so cruel.
The man in the video, later identified by co-worker Gerald Andrews by his first name, Mark, is described as someone who's always in good spirits. Andrews was interviewed following the attack, saying, “He keeps that smile on his face. He wants to talk sports. He's a good guy. It's heartbreaking.”
After going viral, the video was able to help police identify and arrest four teens associated with the brutal attack. They were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, and reckless endangerment. The teen attackers are also being linked to another violent incident at a nearby school.