Starting school can be daunting for anyone. For most people, it's a time of stress, insecurities, and social pressure. Trying to fit in with the "cool kids" while simultaneously trying to study for midterms is a pretty difficult task, you know? If I think about it, it's probably the hardest thing I've ever had to experience. And for all the lucky ones that have also managed to survive the ordeal, props to you.
It seems as if times have changed since I was at school, but one thing that remains constant is bullying. Every generation has its own set of terrorizers who want to make everyone else's lives harder. And, recently, a mom shared a message to bullies after her son became a victim.
Now, he's set to lead out his favorite football team. Keep scrolling to see the full video...
Trigger warning: This article contains graphic language.Before you start this article, I must warn you that some viewers may find some of the language and the pictures distressing so read at your own risk.
School is a really formative time in your life.The curriculum can often seem a little random and there is a general consensus amongst students each and every year that fractions and analyzing old poems will not get you anywhere in life. That being said, everything that you learn during your school career shapes the adult that you become.
Not fitting in can make the challenge of school all the more difficult.Forget the lessons, the homework, the presentations, the miniature dioramas... the most challenging part about school is making friends and fitting in.
Having a support network is the best way to survive school.Knowing that someone has your back makes walking through those school gates just that little bit more do-able. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that having good friends can actually make school kind of okay.
Plenty of celebrities also hated school.It's reassuring, and perhaps important, to note that plenty of successful figures in popular culture hated school. But, just because no one wanted to sit with them in the cafeteria, their lives weren't over. In fact, those early rejections from their peers probably strengthened them for future challenges, making them the successes that we see today.
And there are many reasons why kids pick on other kids.It's cruel as often, children are left fearing coming to school and will do anything to avoid social interactions just because they don't want to be singled out.
Learning difficulties don't only affect your learning...It seems bizarre that having a disability can cause people to be intentionally cruel to you, but, in the throws of youth, kids don't end to stop and think about what they are doing and will be mean to anyone that they deem vulnerable.
If you don't look the same or talk the same...If you move to the area from a different country, if your skin color is different, if you have an accent, if your hair isn't like everyone else's... that's it. You're excluded. Any cultural differences that set you apart can mean that you are separated from the rest. It's not always like this, but these differences can make fitting in more difficult.
And recently, one mother has taken a stand against bullies.
via: FacebookYarraka Bayles, from Brisbane, Australia, recently posted a video where she showed the aftermath of a bullying incident that took place at her son's school.
She shared the post warning other people against the dangers of bullying.
via: FacebookIn the six-minute clip, you can see Quaden, her nine-year-old son who has dwarfism, crying and talking about his school experiences, saying he's considered "the dumbest kid in class."
At one point, he even tells his mother that he wants to kill himself.In the distressing video he says: "Give me a rope, I want to kill myself" and 'I just want to stab myself in the heart... I want someone to kill me." Apparently, other children have been calling him "midget" and tapping his head and pointing out his differences.
His heartbroken mom says this:"We try to be as strong as positive as possible and only share the highlights... but this is how bullying affects a nine-year-old kid."
She continues:"I just picked my son up from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal and I want people to know this is the effect bullying has. This is what bullying does. So can you please educate your children, your families, your friends because all it takes is one more instance... and you wonder why kids are killing themselves."
She also pleaded for help as her voice quivered."So is there any advice or support or anything that other parents have done? I've got some good advice but I need more, I want people to know how much it is hurting us as a family."
She also mentioned that this isn't the first time Quaden has talked about suicide.She recalled that the first time he tried to kill himself was when he was only six-years-old and it had firmly scarred her, as it would to any parent. Children should not be thinking about such a scary concept at such a young age.
She tried to explain to him that his life is valuable."I was so shocked. I honestly didn't think he would even know what or how at six years old. I've explained to him that once you go, there's no coming back, you're gone forever, but he still kept trying."
Quaden has been through many life-changing events.He was deeply affected by the death of his grandfather and his little brother, who was born stillborn. His mother revealed that he thinks he would be better off with them in heaven.
This heartbreaking story has really raised some important questions.The video has since been viewed over 3 million times and the support has been overwhelming for the family.
However, this does not take away from Quaden's pain.
via: FacebookHis mother is out for answers. As she continues being an activist for these kinds of issues, she plans on raising more awareness for other people, especially children who have dwarfism.
The response to her post has been huge.And many Australia sports stars were amongst those offering their support.
The Indigenous All Stars NRL team were the latest to reach out to the family.
via: FacebookAnd incredibly, they've invited Quaden to walk them onto the pitch on Saturday.
Please watch this video with caution:
This is the hardest video I’ve watched. A 9 year old boy wanting to kill himself due to bullying at school. What is… https://t.co/b99OkU52ye— Rob Shehadie (@Rob Shehadie)1582151912.0