We often speak of the negative impact bullying has on children, but this time, we get to witness its heartbreaking consequences first hand after one mom shared a video of her son who is being mocked every single day.
Yarraka Bayles is the mother of 9-year-old Quaden who was born with Achondroplasia, a form of Dwarfism. The boy is constantly bullied by his peers because of his looks and that results in him wanting to end his own life. Listening to him crying in hysterics and saying how he wants to kill himself left the whole world in tears.
Feeling helpless, Bayles hopes hers and her child’s voice would be heard and that people would finally learn to accept those that are different. She pleads the school system to pay closer attention to the issue of bullying that is present in the educational institutions more often than we can assume. Bayles also wants parents to educate their children more and teach them to know better than bullying others.
“I’ve just picked up my son from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people [to] know, parents, educators teachers, this is the effects that bullying has, this is what bullying does,” Bayles says in the video.
Speaking to SBS, Bayles shared how she was left raged when she went to pick her son from school and saw some of his female classmates patting him on the head like a puppy while laughing about his height.
“She was patting him on the head like a little puppy. My daughter and I looked at each other and we made signals to him to ask if you are right, and he was like ‘no’ and he was looking at me horrified, like ‘don’t make a scene mum,'” she continued.
“You could tell he was very uncomfortable but he was so good at trying to shrug things off, he doesn’t want people to know how much it’s affecting him, he’s so strong and confident but it’s times like these when you just see him crumble. It was just heartbreaking to watch, it made me feel helpless.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time for Quaden to want to end his life. According to his mom, he attempted suicide when he was six years old, after his granddad passed away. The pressure he feels and the bullying he faces on a daily basis trigger his suicidal tendencies.
“It’s the constant bullying, the name-calling, obviously pointing out his difference so now we have a … severely suicidal child who’s sick of the bullying that is [happening] every single day that he attends school or is in public.”
“I feel like I’m failing as a parent. I feel like the education system’s failing.”
Bayles doesn’t say that what happens to her son is solely the school’s fault, but she is certain that if bullying is taken more seriously and students are educated about different disabilities it would help decrease it.
“That would solve so many of the problems … it would protect the other kids with disabilities and help make them feel safe.”
Because of the severity of the situation, Bayles is considering home-schooling Quaden. At least until the whole society decides to do something regarding bullying and raise its voice for those with disabilities.
The video is so profound that it touched us to the core and made us cry. More than 8 million people who have seen it so far feel the same.
The family received thousands of comments expressing compassion and support.
One person wrote, “My heart breaks for you hun you are beautiful just the way you are.”
There were also those who judged Bayles for posting her son who was in complete distress on the social media, but she says that’s the only way she believes would help raise awareness. She said how she would keep posting videos whenever Quaden experiences bullying.
“I have copped a lot of backlash for it, I thought twice about deleting it… but I wanted people to see the effect bullying is having on my child. If I don’t stand up and speak out for him, who will,” she said.
Indigenous Australian Latrell Mitchell, a professional rugby league footballer, met with Quaden and offered his support.
Actress Teula Blakely saluted his act and shared a photo of the meeting on her Instagram saying:
“Well done to the Indigenous NRL All Stars Team for standing up to bullying and giving such a special honour to a very special young Indigenous son Quaden Bayles – Y’all know how I feel about bullying of any kind, people big or small, who are unkind can straight get in the rubbish where they belong. Life is for the loving.”
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Well done to the Indigenous NRL All Stars Team for standing up to bullying and giving such a special honour to a very special young Indigenous son Quaden Bayles – Y’all know how I feel about bullying of any kind, people big or small, who are unkind can straight get in the rubbish where they belong.. Life is for the loving ♥️
Sweet Quaden even got a video of the complete All-Star team. “Hey Quaden, how you going cuz?”
The Indigenous #NRLAllStars are behind you Quaden! 👊🏽❤️ pic.twitter.com/52RLy8SrSd
— NRL (@NRL) February 20, 2020
“Just want to wish you all the best brother. We know you’re going through a hard time right now but the boys are here, we’ve got your back. We’re here to support you, bud.
“We just want to make sure you’re doing alright and make sure that your mum’s on your side, we’re on your side.
“Just make sure you’re thinking the right things, bud, because we want you around – we want you to lead us out on the weekend.
“It’s going to mean more to us than it will to you, bud. Just make sure you’re looking after us and hopefully, we’ll get to see you in the next couple of days.”
Quaden now knows that despite being treated badly at school, there are millions of other people who love him and believe he’s handsome the way he is. We honestly hope his peers will start looking beyond his Dwarfism and realize how special Quaden really is.