UPDATE: Abbeville Mother Wants Students Who Made Fun of Her Son Disciplined
Tuesday afternoon, the Superintendent of Schools for Vermilion Parish issued a statement concerning activities surrounding a senior prank day at Abbeville High School according to KLFY.
He says their investigation of the entire incident continues to be investigated, but he does know the students involved did have conversations with Tay'Shawn Landry where they apologized to Landry for mocking him.
Byler says the students were able to get access to a room where Landry's wheelchair is kept. How they got a key to the school and access to that room is still being investigated. The wheelchair is not the property of Landry and it does stay at the school each day. There is a cooperative agreement between the school and the company that the wheelchair comes from that they keep it at the school so Tay'Shawn has mobility on campus.
Here is part of the statement from Superintendent Byler,
Multiple students were seen riding through the halls on the wheelchair and displayed actions that were insensitive and disrespectful to students with disabilities. Abbeville High and the Vermilion Parish School System are completely disappointed n the actions of these students and in no way condone this sort of behavior. School officials on Friday notified the central office that apologies from students to the student who utilizes the electric wheelchair had been offered and conversations between students had taken place.
As far as if any teacher, faculty, or child was disciplined we will not know that information as those are private matters that can't be released by the school system.
ORIGINAL STORY: (5/17/23):
A situation revolving around a senior prank with students from Abbeville High School has many people asking questions about the entire situation. KLFY first reported on this story Monday.
Tay'Shawn Landry was born with issues due to cerebral palsy. The ninth-grad student has trouble walking, among other issues, so he uses a motorized wheelchair.
One of the questions is how did Tay'Shawn's wheelchair end up being used in videos as part of senior prank day?
It is clear in one of the videos on TikTok that a student is mocking Tay'Shawn.
One of the videos also has a picture stating that the students in these videos were allowed access to the school via a master key. These are all issues that we will try to discuss with the principal of Abbeville High School. He told a KLFY reporter "No comment".
We received a return phone call from Abbeville High Principal Phillip Freeman. He told us since he has only been principal for one year he is not aware of any past senior prank days. He did say when he was asked about it early on he DID NOT give permission for this. Other than that statement, Principal Freeman had nothing else to add. We are still waiting for a return call from Superintendent Tommy Byler.
We have contacted Tay'Shawn's mother via Facebook, and we are waiting for a reply. We have also contacted Principal Freeman from Abbeville High School, and we are waiting for a return call.
Kimberly Mitchell says she posted about the incidents on Facebook because she is angry, and she hopes no other child with disabilities is mocked by other kids.
The following content is very explicit! It's Not Safe for Work content. If you are easily offended do not watch these videos.
One person asked us whether or not "playing" in the halls of the high school is part of a tradition of senior prank day. We will be sure to ask that question.
We are also wondering if it is a tradition for students to be allowed in the halls was there a chaperone for this? How did students get access to the school? Did Tay'Shawn's family give these students access to his wheelchair, and if so, why?
We are working to get answers. Keep checking back for more updates.
Both of Tay'Shawn's grandmothers were interviewed by the television station. They are deeply worried about the impact on Tay'Shawn. He said he was angry, and he cried when he saw the videos because he was being made fun of. He said it was especially painful because these are students he interacts with on a daily basis at school.
Tay'Shawn's grandmother Clarice Landry told KLFY the following:
With doing something like this, a prank of this nature, his mentality status. In the time frame of them doing this to Tay'Shawn and all what he has been through can play a role in his mental status. With everything that's going on in the world today with the kids, we don't know how it's going to affect him in the long term.