KYLE, Texas - At an H-E-B parking lot in Kyle, bikers from several clubs joined Jeep enthusiasts in rallying behind a Hays County parent and her daughter.
Sabrina Murray held back tears as she addressed the crowd of rough riders, thanking them for their kindness. Murray explained her daughter Haley is diagnosed with a form of Cerebral Palsy and has a beautiful smile. However, Haley doesn’t smile when she comes home from school. Murray said her daughter has been severely bullied.
"I'm worried for the safety of my daughter,” Murray said. "She is picked on and she is bullied because of her disability she is become an object of bullying and an object of harassment and constant ridicule she has been assaulted, she has been told to kill herself, she's been told she is unlovable."
Elisa Rodriguez helped organize the event. She put Murray in touch with the Wind Therapy Freedom Riders because she was once in Murray’s shoes.
"I can relate to everything she is going through,” Rodriguez said. "We are here we love you and we are going to always support you."
Rodriguez’s son was assaulted by students in the Bastrop School District. She and her family protested outside his school for days demanding attention from the district. She said no action was taken against the students who bullied her son but she learned the importance of supporting others.
Once Hays High School let out, the group lined up one by one revving their engines, stopping traffic and turning heads all to send Haley some love. It was a lift from school Haley will never forget. The happy teen smiled from ear to ear it was her first time behind a motorcycle surrounded by strangers letting her know she wasn’t alone.
"Suddenly everyone wanted to talk to me, suddenly I was normal," Haley said. "It feels really good because I was in a place that I felt like I had no one but now I know that I have people that support me."
Hays County ISD said they do not tolerate bullying but cannot speak to the specifics in the case, but did provide a statement:
All district administrators, teachers, and staff are trained to promptly report all allegations of bullying so those allegations may be thoroughly investigated and action can be taken to protect bullying victims.
The district welcomes everyone – students, parents, and community members – who join us in denouncing bullying, raising awareness of the issues surrounding bullying, and engaging to keep Hays CISD students safe.
To protect the privacy of possible bullying victims, and other state and federally protected student information; Hays CISD cannot and does not comment on individual student cases or allegations.
Hays CISD believes in being proactive by addressing bullying, harassment, and dating violence. In addition to implementing a Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports System (PBIS) at all campuses, a number of character education programs are taught by the school counselors throughout the year.
Additionally, the district has resources where bullying can be easily reported, including the Hays Hopeline embedded in the district’s smartphone app and online at www.hayscisd.net/hope. For more information about reporting bullying in Hays CISD, visit www.hayscisd.net/bullying.