People can react so excessively and strangely towards those who are different than them.
What’s so baffling about this is how those differences rarely ever affect the negative reactors.
Often times, these harassers or bullies have to go out of their way to be cruel to someone who is different for reasons they cannot control.
Jason Eagan is no stranger to being treated badly for his differences.
The Sandoval, Illinois-based man, who is 33 years old, has Down Syndrome.
But he has never allowed his condition to stop him from flourishing and doing well in life.
That’s why, in 2016, Eagan successfully became a firefighter.
But after around three years of selfless, brave service, Eagan decided to quit his job as a firefighter due to bullying and harassment from his fellow colleagues.
When his sister, Kristin, found out about what happened, she took to Facebook and shared her anger over the situation with her friends.
Kristin’s post, which went up on the 7th of February, explains the situation thoroughly.
Eagan has always been a diligent and hardworking firefighter during his time at the Sandoval Fire Protection District, and he had responded to each and every call he received with no fail, proving that his differences didn’t make him any less of a fireman.
But Eagan was subject to humiliation and bullying at a relentless rate from others within his department.
His decision to quit was ultimately fuelled by one particular firefighter who would not stop harassing him.
It is truly appalling to imagine a full-grown man picking on someone purely because they have Down Syndrome.
It’s the kind of taunt one would expect to hear on a children’s playground, and not out of the mouth of an adult.
Over the years, Eagan had been called countless offensive slurs and names, and his firefighter colleagues even allegedly plotted to take him off of the department’s emergency paging system.
What infuriated Kristin even more is that this behavior was clearly considered acceptable by the department, since no action was taken even after Eagan had endured this awful treatment for a long time.
Kristin lives 400 miles away from Eagan, which is the only reason she didn’t storm into the station herself.
Her Facebook post soon garnered plenty of attention, and it wasn’t long before people were contacting the fire department in question angrily and demanding Eagan’s position be reinstated.
Many members of the department were quick to defend themselves, saying that they wanted Eagan to return, but that he made his decision based on a very cruel and loud minority among them.
Eagan’s family rushed to his side to support him, and the attention from Kristin’s post eventually prompted the fire department to take action.
However, Eagan’s family does not wish for there to be any backlash on the department itself, which has always treated Eagan well.
In the light of this story going viral, one of the firefighters involved with the bullying resigned, and another is considering doing so.
In the meantime, Eagan is waiting to see if he will be reinstated and be able to continue working as a firefighter – a career that has always been his dream.