BELLEVILLE, Ill. -- To Steven Raines, standing up for a fellow student is simply the right thing to do.
That's why the Belleville West High School junior took it upon himself to intervene in the Sept. 14 attack on another student during a bus ride to school, an act that earned him an award Thursday from the Belleville West Side Optimist Club.
"I appreciate being recognized for what I think is a small thing that I did -- just something that was right," Steven said as he accepted the award.
The videotaped attack sparked national attention. Police originally called it racially motivated, but recanted that statement the next day and said it was a case of bullying.
The 14- and 15-year-old suspects were charged with aggravated battery Friday and expelled from the high school Monday night.
Steven could be seen in the video holding one of the two attackers away from the victim.
"I just felt like it was something that needed to be done," he said.
Barbara Beuckman, the Optimist Club co-president, said Steven's actions "demonstrated that young people of today are willing to stand up for what they believe is correct," which she said is also a testament to his parents, and other parents like them, who teach their kids what is right.
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