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Deaf Student Bullied By Students; Mother Charged With Assault

Deaf Student Bullied By Students; Mother Charged With Assault


Tennessee mother Christa Green has been charged with assault and burglary for confronting students on a school bus who were bullying her 18-year-son, Tavis Green, who is deaf. Last Thursday, Christa Green received a call from Tavis, telling her that he had been punched in the face while on the bus. Her reaction was just what any mother’s would be, to hurry to his side; Tavis was born deaf and has been bullied all of his life. Green got on the bus and confronted two teenagers — and ended up being charged with 13 counts of assault and one count of burglary.

WRCBTV gives this report:

School bus driver Stanley Cookston admits seeing Tavis get hit but tried to stop Green when she boarded the bus. “When she got up there I put my hands out and that’s when he screamed, ‘Don’t be touching my mama!’” explained Cookston.

Tavis was also charged with assault but Green said she has bruises to prove Cookston also put his hands on her….

“Tavis has never laid his hands on anyone, punched anyone in the face, never,” said Green.

[Superintendent] Dr. [Mark] Griffith tells Channel 3, the District Attorney’s office charged Green with 13 counts of assault, because there were 12 students and one driver on the bus. However; she didn’t touch anyone.

The DA’s office tells Channel 3 a person can be charged with burglary if they enter a vehicle with the intent to commit assault, even if they don’t touch anyone.

Green is to appear in court on Wednesday.

I don’t know all the details about Green’s case or what happened to Tavis Green on that school bus last Thursday. But as the mother of a child with disabilities, I’m always and ever at the ready to rise to his defense. Christa Green says that Tavis has been repeatedly told he is “deaf and dumb” and picked on for being different. As the most recent incident does not seem to be the first, it seems that the school district could make more efforts to address what, says Superintendent Griffith, is it’s “number one priority,” safety — and also to start teaching some much-needed lessons about acceptance and respectful behavior towards those who are different.


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5:43AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

How unfair!

5:38AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

Whatever the rights and wrongs on both sides the hysterical overreaction by the authorities is alarming.

1:12AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

Cyberbullying is not limited to the youthful deaf communities. Even grownups and even high profile deaf advocates do it too. One prolific closed captioning advocate had been doing a cyberbullying campaign for six years against another deaf advocate before she got caught. See more about it at

11:06PM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

I'm going to repost this since A) It would seem I'm the only one who did any other research on this story and B) only 1 person out of 70 bothered to read any of the rest of this thread.
Therefore, for those that missed this, try reading the backstory I cut 'n' paste here:

This is when I check as many other sources as possible. To add to this story: Travis has been accused by no less than 14 other students as being the instigator. Being deaf does NOT make you a weakling, you know. He was more than capable of defending himself and I'd like to know a little more about the allegations that he also beat his mother who defends him.
Yes, the DA was bored and went COMPLETELY overboard with the charges. I don't blame her for doing what any concerned mom would do, but before jumping on a story like this, Kristina C. should've done her homework better. This kid is NOT the poster child for bullied kids with disabilities.
I was a waitress for years. I've waited on literally thousands of people. I know what it's like to be accused of being a bully since I've had deaf customers get very upset with me for not signing their order or being able to understand when they sign. (These were only a few from that community; most were always very polite and gracious at my effort to understand and serve them.)
So you see, it's not ALWAYS the less-abled person who becomes the victim. I shouldn't have been stiffed simply because I didn't have that knowledge.

5:28PM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

You can only push a mama so far....

10:51AM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Yeah, the busdriver obviously wasn't doing his job, and kids know when the driver won't intervene. Guy should be fired. Kids who punched Tavis should be suspended.

1:45AM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Who the (expletive) bullies a handicapped kid to the point that his mom has to show up, then charges HER with assault? That's crap.

I will help Travis and his mom as best as I can.

3:38AM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

I wish I knew more details, all this seems to be is a blow up of all sorts of accusations.

I feel sorry for Travis and the mother, because no matter what their intent may have been, no one was harmed, and they ended up injured.

Even if the mother had the intent of standing up for her son violently, I don't think it's worthy of a charge of assault AND burglary when no one was harmed. It would've been called self-defense otherwise, wouldn't it?

7:31AM PDT on Oct 4, 2011

It's unfortunate that the situation ended up this way. I most certainly blame the bus driver. He should have pulled over and called the cops and had the offending students removed! He should also have a number for the county school or the bus system he's working for and explain exactly what happened and what his actions were. Those students need some tough discipline. Not suspension but loads of extra work to complete while being constantly monitored. Maybe then they'd be too busy to bully others. They also should be given community service to work at a rehabilitation facility so they can see that whether a person was born with a condition or had a stroke or was in a car accident, everyone is deserving of respect!

5:24PM PDT on Oct 3, 2011


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