Unfortunately Amish sometimes end up being targets for harassment, vandalism or violence in some cases. Sadly some Amish schoolchildren recently became targets on two separate occasions in an Ohio community. The report from FOX 8:
ASHLAND, Ohio (WJW) – The Fox 8 I-Team has learned two teens are under investigation for an assault carried out on Amish children.
Ashland Sheriff Lt. Don Sims told the I-Team the teens are accused of throwing water bottles from a vehicle, at Amish children as they walked home from school.
The incidents happened on January 18 and January 24 on State Route 545 in Ashland County.
The Amish children ranged in age from 8 to 14.
“One of the children was struck in the head,” Sims said. “This should not happen, it’s unacceptable, and won’t be tolerated.”
I’m assuming those were full water bottles (not sure how an empty water bottle would be much of a danger). Thankfully no one was seriously hurt. This is being termed “assault” and sounds like that’s what authorities are legally considering it to be (although when I read the word “assault” what first comes to mind is a face-to-face physical attack – not that this wasn’t dangerous as well).
From the early days in the mid-late-2000s of writing about the Amish online, I have seen comments both effusive in their praise of the Amish and those on the exact end of the spectrum – rabid anti-Amish comments that reveal a lot of hatred towards this group of people.
I’m not saying these teens have hearts full of hate for the Amish – who could know that from a 150-word report – but they probably saw them as “different”, and maybe deserving, easy targets.
Non-Amish in some places carry some negative prejudicial attitudes towards the Amish based on various beliefs rooted in varying degrees of truth. And it’s easier to do this sort of thing if you already look down upon a group of people for whatever reason.
This may have just been seen as “a prank” by the teens but certainly throwing a full water bottle from a car can be dangerous. The teens confessed to doing the deeds after questioning. Charges could be filed soon.