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Image / Editorial

Mother demands parents educate their children on disability and bullying


by Grace McGettigan
21st Feb 2020
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A mother from Australia is asking parents around the world to educate their children on disability and the effects of bullying after her nine-year-old son said he wanted to take his own life


Quaden Bayles, a nine-year-old Australian boy with dwarfism, told his mother he wanted to die after being bullied at school. In a video shared by his mum, Yarraka, on Facebook, he can be seen crying in the back of the car and saying, “I just want to die right now.”

Yarraka said she witnessed the bullying incident take place when she went to pick him up from school. She also added this isn’t the first time it’s happened – but she needs it to be the last.

“I’ve just picked my son up from school and witnessed a bullying episode,” she said. “[I] rang the principal, and I want people to know – parents, educators, teachers – this is the effect that bullying has. This is what bullying does.

“This is the impact bullying has on a nine-year-old kid who just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun. But every single day, something happens. Another episode. Another taunt. Another name-calling. I want people to know how much this is hurting us as a family. I want people to educate their children. The whole anti-bullying sh*t isn’t working – and I’ve got a son that is suicidal almost every single day,” she said.

“Is there any advice or support that other parents or families have done to help raise disability awareness and education in the school so that this doesn’t happen? Can you please educate your children, your families, your friends? Because all it takes is one more instant… and you wonder why kids are killing themselves.”

bullying

Global response

Since sharing the video on Facebook, both Quaden and his mum Yarraka have received an outpouring of support from people all over the world. Even celebrities including actor Hugh Jackman and comedian Brad Williams have reached out to raise awareness, with Williams donating a large sum of money so that the family can visit Disneyland.

The American comedian, who like Quaden, was also born with a type of dwarfism, said seeing Quaden’s video “struck a nerve” with him.

“So I started a GoFundMe to fly Quaden and his mother to America and send them to Disneyland. I set the goal at $10k, as of now we have $18.5k raised. I love all of you,” he wrote. “This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough.”

Photo: Quaden Bayles and Yarraka Bayles; Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism, Facebook


Read more: Dundrum teen attack and why we need to talk about racism with our children

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