It’s a sad reality that bullying is a major problem in schools everywhere. Despite public awareness efforts, many children still have to endure daily taunts, threats and other aggressive behavior. That’s why one dad is speaking out and calling on parents to teach their children empathy and compassion after his son was a victim of bullying at school.
Jackson Bezzant, 7, was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare genetic condition that alters development of facial bones and tissues. The condition has also severely impacted his hearing and vision. One day, Jackson was minding his own business and eating his breakfast at school when three older boys approached him and began mercilessly bullying him, calling him names such as “monster” and “ugly.” A teacher’s aide realized what was happening and was able to diffuse the situation.
After hearing about what happened to Jackson at school, his dad, Dan Bezzant, took to Facebook to express his thoughts on the matter. In his moving post, Bezzant expressed how he has been a witness to people both young and old bullying his son throughout his short life. The bullying has had devastating effects on Jackson, even leading him to talk about suicide. Bezzant urges parents to educate their children about special needs and to put themselves in his shoes and think about how they would feel if their own child was the victim of such bullying.
“He says he has no friends and everyone hates him. Kids throw rocks at him and push him shouting these horrific words…please please take a minute and imagine if this were your child,” Bezzant wrote on Facebook. “Take a minute to educate your children about special needs. Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man.
Here’s his whole moving post:
Dan was surprised to see that his passionate post quickly went viral, having now been shared more than 60,000 times. People from all over chimed in to express their solidarity with Bezzant and applaud him for sticking up for his son in such a public forum.
“You are a Beautiful little boy and shame on those people for saying anything other than hey how are you? Shame on their parents for the poor upbringing. I have 5 children and would be mortified and disgusted if they were to say anything negative to anyone no matter what they looked like. God bless you and your Beautiful soul,” read one comment.
“His school should have a rally and explain this disease to all the kids and then address other disabilities. If any teacher sees this happening or a parent for that matter they should be held accountable for their child’s behavior,” suggested another.
Bravo to this dad for standing up for his son and drawing attention to such an important issue. We hope parents everywhere heed his message.