Words of Kindness from a Bullied Special Needs Teen in Texas
Erica Ritz, The Blaze, Oct. 24, 2013
Glenn Beck said he “about lost [his] mind” last week over the threatening text messages a special needs student in Plano, Texas was receiving. He even wanted to hold an assembly at the school to teach the kids a “history lesson” in where that behavior leads but, having been rebuffed by the school, he invited the student and her mother on his television program Thursday instead.
The story of Shea Shahan, 18, hits particularly close to home, Beck said, because Shea shares so much in common with his daughter.
"My daughter has cerebral palsy and she suffered brain injuries at birth, and so did Shea," Beck said. "My daughter was just in the hospital because she has seizures; Shea has seizures. My daughter just graduated from college and is just starting a new job—Shea has the [mental] capacity of an 8-year-old."
After introducing Shea and her mother, Keri Riddell, Beck asked the two to explain what has been happening.
"This whole thing started when I found out about the text messages," Keri began. "[It was] not through the school. One of my friends was picking up their daughter … and she said, ‘I saw Shea in the office crying.’"
Keri thought her daughter might have had a seizure and immediately left work and went to the school. She was horrified by the messages she saw instead.
"She is so annoying but cute," one of the messages reads. "I want to do more than just kiss her. I want to rape and then kill her. That will finally make sure she goes away for good."
On a Facebook page Keri created called “Imwithshea,” she posted some of the other messages.
"When I read those text messages I kind of just put my phone down and froze, and I just basically cried. I cried in my mom’s arms," Shea told Beck slowly. "And I didn’t know what to think about it. It just kind of hit me hard, like why would some person want to send another person these types of texts? And then I realized that maybe they are trying to get the reaction from me, and trying to make themselves feel better for them, because maybe they did not have that type of warmth from their parents, where they may need that. Or, I don’t know."
Both Beck and Keri had been suppressing tears throughout the interview, but after Shea’s unbelievably kind reaction, both were visibly crying.
When asked what she would say to those writing her the messages, Shea said: “You may not like me, that’s okay. But I like myself. And for me liking myself, and being a kind and sweet, loving girl, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like me. I’m going to like you anyways, because that’s what I do.”
Still crying, Beck looked at Keri and remarked: “I was going to say we have heartbreak in common, but we have joy in common. Because we have extraordinary beings in our families, each of us.”