News Article Details

Osky crowd shows caring for Cobra

The Oskaloosa Herald - 6/22/2018

June 20--OSKALOOSA -- Cobra Druliner, his family, friends and community supporters didn't seem to mind the rain too much Wednesday afternoon.

The community event was held at In the Flesh Tattoo and State Farm for the autistic teen who was allegedly assaulted a week ago in a nearby alley.

Druliner was surrounded by people wanting to shake his hand and speak with him. He said he is still feeling lightheaded, but felt a lot of support from the people at the event.

Bullying is ridiculous, he said.

"I think it's just ridiculous how they have to stoop so low to pick on a special needs kid, which is me," he said. "It's kind of ridiculous that they have to bully and everything. But I understand. But it's just ridiculous."

Druliner's mother, Jennifer Miller said bullying needs to stop.

"I'm just terrified that it had to happen to my kid. This is the second time that this kid has beaten up mine," she said. "I just think that the bullying needs to stop in this town. I got bullied when I was young, so I know how it feels. So we're here to stop this bullying."

State Farm agent Kelli Steil, located right next to In the Flesh said it was exciting to see the turnout despite the weather and to see how many people care about what's going on in the community.

Wes Vaughn, inside his tattoo shop filled with people, said he felt it was going to be a great day.

"There's been a lot of community to come so far and show support," he said, "and we're going to need those people to get laws changed. It doesn't happen overnight."

Vaughn said he and others are hoping to eventually get a law passed that will make it illegal to be a bystander encouraging a crime, and such a person would be just as culpable as the person committing the crime.

Diana Crook said she and her family were at the event, supporting the anti-bullying movement and supporting people with disabilities. She was in favor of a law punishing bystanders.

"Anybody that participates in bullying, whether they're a bystander or a participant, should receive the maximum by the law and be punished for it," she said.

It's important, Vaughn said, because the kids of today are going to grow up and eventually be in charge.

"If they're damaged and broken, what kind of future do we hold," he asked. "The future's always been in the kids, because every generation is going to take over for the generation before them and if we don't start caring about them now they're not going to care about nothing later."

Anti-bullying T-shirts were sold at the event, saying "choose to be kind, take a stand against bullying." Proceeds from the shirts will go toward anti-bullying awareness in the community.

Managing Editor Angie Holland can be reached at aholland@oskyherald.com and followed on Twitter @OskyAngie.

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(c)2018 The Oskaloosa Herald (Oskaloosa, Iowa)

Visit The Oskaloosa Herald (Oskaloosa, Iowa) at www.oskaloosa.com

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