Parenthood
‘Disgruntled’ man installs strobe lights where epileptic kids have to catch bus
He also told the kids to get off his property even though they were on public land. My heart goes out to the kids and parents dealing with him.
Laura Shallcross
08.02.21

When you’re looking for a new home, what are the most important must-haves on your list?

Maybe you’d prefer a big garden, a pool, or good transport routes to the nearby amenities. But what you might not think about is your neighbors.

Having bad neighbors can be a nightmare that many of us hope to never experience.

Yifan Gu/ Unsplash
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Yifan Gu/ Unsplash

Not only can bad neighbors affect your wellbeing, they can even diminish your property value.

That’s why it’s worth asking around in the local area before you buy a home – though there’s not much you can do if your neighbors move in after you.

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Thirdman/ Pexels

Of all the bad neighbor stories we’ve shared, this is one of the most unbelievable.

Reddit user AwareTable shared the story of their nightmare situation on the subreddit r/legaladvice, hoping to get advice from someone who knew their stuff.

The title of the post – “[US, OK] Disgruntled neighbor has installed a strobe light to stop epileptic kids from using a school bus stop” – is enough to make you know that this won’t be an easy read.

If your blood isn’t boiling already, just wait until you read the full post.

The post begins:

“To give some context on where we live: we’re in a small neighborhood of about 5 homes; it’s a very small cul-de-sac area in the middle of farmland. There aren’t other homes or buildings for about 2 miles.

Tarun Narang/ Unsplash
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Tarun Narang/ Unsplash

“I have 3, young, elementary aged children that all have a very serious case of epilepsy: it does not take much to cause an episode. By some luck, two of our neighbor’s kids also have epilepsy, and are also around the same age as our kids. For the past few years they have been able to successfully group together and go to the end of our community to catch the bus.”

Marius Matuschzik/ Unsplash
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Marius Matuschzik/ Unsplash

So far, so good.

Having children with epilepsy is certainly a challenge, but it sounds like AwareTable and their family are making it work.

But the post takes a downturn when AwareTable mentions that a new neighbor has recently moved onto their street.

Karolina Grabowska/ Pexels
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Karolina Grabowska/ Pexels

AwareTable writes that the neighbor has been “an absolute hell to everyone”, explaining:

“From the second day on, he has harassed our kids telling them to get off his property, even though they were technically on a public road. Through the grapevine he somehow learned that a majority of the kids were epileptic, and has installed strobe lights in his front lawn. These are VERY powerful, VERY fast lights that you can not avoid walking by.”

Johnathan Kaufman/ Unsplash
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Johnathan Kaufman/ Unsplash

It’s the sort of thing that you wouldn’t even imagine happening.

Unfortunately, as AwareTable found out, some people really do stoop that low.

AwareTable added that they had contacted the police, who didn’t even come to talk to the guy. The school is aware of the situation, but also can’t help.

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Erik Mclean/ Pexels

It sounds like a horrendous situation, but thankfully, other Redditors offered their share of helpful advice.

One person wrote:

“I’d try contacting your local ADA organization — epilepsy counts as a disability, and they’d probably find this case to be of interest. If nothing else, it puts the school in a bind because they are legally required to make ‘reasonable accommodations’, and your neighbor has created a situation that clearly makes some sort of accommodation necessary. School may not want to send the bus down that lane, but they may not have a choice but to do something.”

cottonbro/ Pexels
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cottonbro/ Pexels

Most people agreed that this was an issue for the school to deal with – but it’s a shame that we have to put up with neighbors like this in the first place.

How would you react in this situation? You can check out the full Reddit post and comments here.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Laura Shallcross
hi@sbly.com
Laura Shallcross is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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