Girl, 9, wins courage award — but the bullies win

When a group of fifth-grade boys were beating an autistic student at a Maui school, nine-year-old Eileen Parkman told them to stop. They cursed her, pushed her to the ground and stepped on her. A local autism center honored Eileen for her courage, reports the Maui News.

“It isn’t the right thing to beat up people. It’s the right thing to help people,” Eileen said in explaining her bravery in coming to the defense of a helpless student during a lunch recess at Kamali’i Elementary School.

. . . “Yes, I was very scared,” Eileen said.

The bullies made sure she stayed scared. After standing up to the older boys, the second grader became a target for bullying, said her father, Sean Parkman. He and his mother offered to volunteer as recess monitors, but were rejected, he said.

Parkman said school officials told him that if he pulled Eileen from the school, then officials would report him to Child Protective Services because he could be violating school attendance policies. So, he held off.

But after taking Eileen to doctors several times after getting beaten, doctors warned Parkman that Eileen was not safe. He then removed her from the school.

Eileen is being tutored at home. Apparently, the autistic boy still attends the elementary school.

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