Quaden Bayles, a nine-year-old boy from Australia, became the face of anti-bullying in school after his mother posted a video in which a crying Quaden begs to kill himself for getting bullied relentlessly in his school for being a dwarf. The video which went viral soon after it was posted on Wednesday by Yarraka Bayles on her social media page, has garnered huge support for Quaden.
Dressed in his school uniform while sitting inside a car, hysterical Quaden could be seen crying uncontrollably as his mother went live on her Facebook page. Quaden, who suffers from achondroplasia, the most common form of short-limbed Dwarfism, could be heard asking for a knife to kill himself in the video.
Bayles wants to raise awareness against bullying
The mother of the nine-year-old boy posted the video on her page with the sole purpose of raising awareness against bullying. "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 could be heard saying in the video.
In the beginning of the six-minute viral clip, Yarraka says: "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. This is the impact bullying has a nine-year-old kid who just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun but every single fricking day something happens. Another episode another bullying, another taunt, another name-calling," she went on in the video.
"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 said.
Mother witnessed the bullying incident taking place inside the school
Later, in an interview with NITV News, Yarraka said that Quaden was bullied by a classmate for being a midget. "I went to pick him up and saw him with the kids. One of his classmates was patting him on the head and making references to 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 mom'."
"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," revealed the mother.
Yarraka who also faced criticism for posting the video said, "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?"
Supports pour in for Quaden on social media
As soon as the video went viral, support poured in from every quarter of the society including kids and celebrities. The Indigenous All Stars NRL team has asked Quaden to lead them onto Cbus Stadium on the Gold Coast as they play against the Maori All-Stars on Saturday.
Actor Hugh Jackman too posted a message for Quaden through his Twitter account. While urging everyone to be kind, he told the boy, "Quaden - You are stronger than you know. And no matter what, you've got a friend in me. Everyone lets be kind to each other. Bullying is not OK. Period. Life is hard enough. So let's just remember: Every person in front of us is facing some kind of battle."
The social media was also flooded with messages from kids in different parts of the world who tried to cheer the sobbing nine-year-old. "Sending hugs and strengths. People need to control their kids, he doesn't deserve to feel this way about going to school. He deserves a safe place. So sorry," wrote a user on the FB page.