LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A Sam Houston High School junior alleges he’s endured bullying for years but says what happened to him earlier this month was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“For my birthday, they were gonna hit me with brooms,” student Blake Taylor said. “They were talking about it on the bus.”
Blake Taylor turned 18 on April 8, 2021. He says his classmates threatened to give him 18 licks for his birthday.
“They blocked me to go in there, and they hit me with the broom,” Taylor said. “That’s how I got this,” he says as he points to a brace on his arm.
The alleged abuse was caught on camera, and the video was shared across social media. KPLC cannot release that video for legal reasons, but Blake’s mom was one of many who saw it.
“As a mother, when I first saw the video, it was just heartbreaking. Because what I didn’t see, what were the other 18 hittings? You know, hit in the back, hit in the legs,” says Bridgett Murphy.
The Calcasieu Parish School Board is taking action on the matter and released this statement:
The National Bullying Prevention Center concludes one out of every five students reports it. Researchers also discovered students with disabilities, like Blake, are more worried about their school safety, comparatively.
Blake’s family is standing together to prevent bullying in local schools.
“Shedding light on ‘hey this is real, it does happen,’” says Nicholas Murphy, the student’s father.
“My whole plan is - if I have to put my son’s story out there, that’s what I’m going to do,” his mother said. “It needs to be stopped.”
Blake says he did gain support after his alleged incident and wants to be the voice for those who may be too afraid to speak up for themselves.
“It hurt my heart when that happened, because I don’t want no one else going through that when I graduate,” Taylor said. “I don’t want kids younger than me to get bullied like that - get hit with brooms and get in the position I am.”
“We just don’t want another kid to have to suffer over someone just being mean out of spite,” says his father.
“I don’t want the next child to be another Blake; be cornered in a locker room, be cornered in a football stadium, cheerleader, it doesn’t matter who they are. They are somebody’s kids,” implores his mother.
If your child is experiencing any form of bullying, the Calcasieu Parish School District wants you to know they are there to help. District leaders say they take all of these matters seriously and investigate extensively. You can report bullying to school officials or fill out a bullying reporting form.