RAINIER, Ore. -- A student from Rainier High School claimed he was suspended for three days after speaking out against bullying, and his message has struck a nerve in the community.
Rainier student Naythan Taylor said in a Facebook post he tried to alert school administrators that a bullied student was considering suicide. He claims he was told to drop the subject and he was bullied by the faculty.
The post was shared thousands of times within hours after he published it.
The school district maintains Taylor was suspended for using inappropriate language and behavior, and district released the principal's notes of his exchange with Taylor as proof.
Taylor denies swearing at school administrators.
In Taylor's widely shared Facebook post, he wrote: The issue started when an 18-year-old girl...posted a photo of a 15-year-old boy at my school on Instagram, he wrote. Her and her peers posted multiple comments insulting and bullying the boy. The number of comments grew rapidly through out the day of students bullying and humiliating the boy.
I am speaking out for those kids who have succeeded in suicide and I refuse to stand by and let another death happen, he added. I am appalled that I am receiving a punishment for attempting to keep another student from taking his own life.
Rainier School District Superintendent Michael Carter said Taylor was not suspended for speaking up. The suspension was for calling the dean of students a f___ing idiot after Taylor didn't get the response he thought the situation deserved.
After the claim exploded on social media, Carter released the following statement:
While we cannot discuss the specifics of any student s case, we can assure you that we have never suspended any student who has come to us to warn us about the safety of another student or has advocated on behalf of another student.
We can also assure you that in this case, no one was suspended for advocating for his friend. Obviously students have to be appropriate in the language and behavior they use when they address school staff, and there are other reasons for this student s suspension.
The school also released notes on principal Graden Blue's recollection of the exchange.
Naythan's father told KGW he's frustrated that his son was just trying to do the right thing and was apparently punished for it.
As big an issue as bullying has become in the U.S., said Chad Taylor, the way the situation is being handled is like 180 degrees off of what logic would tell you.