A video from an Indiana high school basketball game on Friday showing a student faking a seizure to make fun of an opposing player with epilepsy has gone viral online.
James Franklin Jr., a basketball player for Cathedral High School, was shooting a free throw when a Center Grove student dropped to the floor and began to fake a seizure and other students screamed out, “Have another seizure for me,” something that left the senior in tears, writes Newsweek.
“It didn’t hit me at first,” Franklin told WISH-TV, a local Indianapolis news station. “Like last night it didn’t hit me. But this morning, I woke up and was thinking hard and had a lot on my mind and started crying a lot. I cried.”
Franklin said he’s suffered from epilepsy since he was born. In August 2017, he underwent brain surgery to help lessen the seizures, per USA Today.
“He has to overcome a lot of insecurities in his life,” his mother, Tamieka Franklin, told USA Today. “It has had a huge impact on him.” She told WISH-TV that the Center Grove student apologized, but she felt that it was insincere.
“One of the parents had gone and gotten the kid and was like ‘Hey, that was not acceptable, this is this man’s son, and do you know what he’s been through?’ The kid was like ‘Oh yeah, I’m sorry,'” she said. “I mean how can you be sincere when you obviously went through social media and took the time to research our players?”
Center Grove and the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) said in a statement to Newsweek on Saturday that they’re looking into the incident.
“The IHSAA has been in communication with both school administrations regarding the unfortunate student fan incident in the Center Grove vs. Cathedral game. Our school administrators are addressing the matter and will use this as learning experience. #educationbasedathletics,” IHSAA tweeted.
The IHSAA has been in communication with both school administrations regarding the unfortunate student fan incident in the Center Grove vs. Cathedral game. Our school administrators are addressing the matter and will use this as learning experience. #educationbasedathletics
— IHSAA (@IHSAA1) December 1, 2018
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.