A man with autism who was fired from his job as a janitor at a Long Island school is probably going to get his job back following outrage directed at the school administrators who gave him the boot.
For now, school officials said Friday, 45-year-old Mel Turner is back on the payroll at the Wantagh Union Free School District, where he’s been a janitor for the last five years, but isn’t allowed to actually return to work until a doctor determines whether he’s a safety threat — which he isn’t; he’s just a nice guy who’s forced to put up with teenage bullies who make fun of his disability.
A few weeks ago, some punks were bullying Turner, which prompted the
beloved janitor to have a bit of an outburst: he told a different group
of kids he planned to blow up the school.
The outburst was
recorded by a student, who turned the tape over to his parents. It
ultimately found its way to school administrators, who fired Turner.
word of the firing went public, parents, students and other members of
the community rallied to get the school officials to reconsider the
firing — which they declined to do, noting that their “hands were tied”
by school regulations.
Their hands, apparently, have now been untied
— which tends to be the case when an entire community rallies to get
people to do the right thing.
“I feel great they gave me a second chance and I promise not to do it again,” Turner told reporters last week.
Turner is expected to see a doctor this week, and hopefully be back at the school as soon as possible.
School officials ignored our request for comment.