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Exclusive: Damascus HS students accused of posting humiliating photo of boy with autism

Brandon Salvador (ABC7)

Kelly Salvador cannot comprehend why a Damascus High School student took a humiliating photo of her special needs son, and then shared that image on Snapchat with help from a second classmate.

The November 1, incident occurred in a boy's bathroom. Salvador's son Brandon, who has severe autism, was standing at the urinal, his pants dropped around his knees, his buttocks exposed. It was around 7:35 a.m.

A male student entered the bathroom, saw Brandon and thought it would be funny to document the 20-year-old's physical stance.

The boys -- one a member of Damascus' JV football team -- later shared the photo on Snapchat.

In an exclusive ABC7 interview, Kevin Lewis spoke with Salvador..

"When it first happened, I asked him, did someone take your picture in the bathroom? And he just started laughing and said, you don't take pictures in the bathroom, you go to the bathroom in the bathroom,” Salvador says. “So he doesn't realize what's going on."

Police have charged both boys with "unlawful visual surveillance." The case is now in juvenile court.

Damascus Principal Casey Crouse sent an email to parents, but did not explain the victim has special needs.

"I think by not being open about this happening, it's going to happen again," Salvador says.

Salvador explains that after some prodding, Damascus administrators provided her with formal documentation of the incident. The doublesided "Bullying, Harassment, Or Intimidating Reporting Form" included marked checkboxes indicating "cyber bullying" that was "demeaning" and stemmed from the student's "disability."

"[Suspect one] and [suspect two] thought it was funny to make fun of the student w/ disability, and the way he used the bathroom," the report reads. "[Suspect one] took a picture of Brandon while he was using the bathroom exposing his behind and posted it. [Suspect two] saw the post and reposted it."

In May 2016, ABC7 reported on a different male student with autism at Damascus, also photographed while urinating.

And it's worth noting that Brandon's incident occurred the day after the broomstick locker room rapes that have gained national attention.

4 Damascus JV football players accused in locker room broomstick rapes released on bond

Salvador wants more than an apology, and is concerned for her good-natured son, who loves nothing more than french fries and Barney & Friends episodes.

"I'm glad that he doesn't know that it happened, but at the same time it just shows how special needs kids are so susceptible to being abused in this way," Salvador concluded.


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