PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) - The Maricopa County Attorney's Office says three teens are facing felony charges after video of an 18-year-old student with autism, using a school urinal, was posted online in November.
"My heart sank," said the victim's mom, Amanda Steele. "The first thing that came to mind is these students don’t know my child. He’s in a school where inclusion is preached, but it’s really not teached [sic]."
Steele held back tears describing the pain she felt after learning students at Mountain Pointe High School, in Phoenix, exploited her son, Jordan's privacy.
"The boy took a video from behind," said Steele. "The video does show private parts of my son, so it was at that point a surreptitious video. He then shared that to a female student who shared it to social media."
A third student, she says, also faces charges for creating her own videos, mocking Jordan for his disability.
"I think the hardest part is knowing that my vulnerable child doesn’t really understand," said Steele. "Jordan chose not to watch the video, and we respected that, but unfortunately his level of intellectual disability doesn’t allow him to understand that abstract of a concept."
Steele said all three teens pleaded not guilty in court last week.
"I want them to grow from this, not be punished," said Steele. "... all the students that were in the hallway that day that watched that young lady make that video, no one said anything, so we have a bigger problem that does start at home."
She hopes to teach others to include everyone and stand up to bullies.