Indiana high school basketball player with epilepsy mocked during game

An Indiana high school student was seen flailing on the floor at a basketball game last week, apparently mocking an opposing player who suffers from epileptic seizures. A video shared on Twitter showed the student from Center Grove High School (outside of Indianapolis) flopping on the ground when Cathedral High School’s James Franklin Jr., who suffers from seizures, was at the free-throw line.

Franklin, a senior point guard, has endured epilepsy since he suffered a stroke at birth, according to The Washington Post, and doctors initially predicted he wouldn’t live more than 24 hours. His mother, Tamieka Franklin, told the Post her son has had several severe seizures since then, too, going fully unconscious in sixth grade and requiring brain surgery after another incident in 10th grade. As a result, Franklin has promoted epilepsy awareness on social media and played a “Sink Seizures” game to help reduce the stigma surrounding such disorders, according to Indianapolis’ WTTV.

Franklin shared video of the mockery afterward, tweeting “he thought it was coo to act as me having a seizure smh.”

Franklin’s mother told the Post that the Center Grove student apologized to her son after the game, but that student wasn’t the only person making light of Franklin’s uncontrollable seizures on Friday night. The senior added on Twitter that he heard statements like, “Have another seizure for us!” coming from the stands during the game.

Center Grove has publicly stated that it does not condone “any behavior intended to mock, disparage or humiliate any player or student,” and Franklin has taken to Twitter and the media to speak out about his condition.

“If they knew what it is like to not be able to drive, not to be able to go anywhere by yourself, be left alone, can’t even use the restroom without closing the door,” Franklin told the Post, “you wouldn’t make a mockery of such a thing.”

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