A boy whose mother posted a now-viral video about her son being bullied at school now has Wolverine and Luke Skywalker at his back.
The heartbreaking footage of 9-year-old Quaden Bayles was posted to Facebook on Tuesday by his mom, Yarraka Bayles, who said that her son has become suicidal over the taunting.
The video now has over 20 million views. In it, an inconsolable Quaden, who was born with achondroplasia dwarfism, sits in the back of his mom’s car saying he wants to die, moments after an incident of bullying at his school in Australia.
“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,” Yarraka says.
“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 says.
Since the video was posted online, Quaden has been flooded with support.
Wolverine and The Greatest Showman star Hugh Jackman took to Twitter with a video message for both Quaden and his bullies directly.
“Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate, and no matter what, you've got a friend in me,” he says.
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) February 20, 2020
“So, everyone lets please be kind to each other, bullying is not OK, period. Life is hard enough, so let's remember, every person in front of us is facing some kind of battle, so let's just be kind.”
Star Wars icon Mark Hamill added: “The cruelty is as astonishing as it is heartbreaking.”
The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan also posted a video on Twitter Thursday, telling Quaden: “My man, I don’t know your name, I don’t know your mom’s name but I saw your video, what I want you to know is you have friends, me included, I am your buddy.
“You haven’t met me yet, but we’ll see if we can change that for one, maybe your mom can DM me, you have a bunch of friends out here, out in the world that you haven’t met yet. We’re here and we’ve got your back and you need to know that, it’ll get better.
“As a dad of a 9-year-old, kids can be horrible and that’s because their parents aren’t doing their job…It’s going to get better…I promise it will,” he says.
In addition to celebrities showing their support, a GoFundMe set up for Quaden is raising thousands of dollars to send him to Disneyland.
The crowdfunding effort, which was set up by Australian comedian Brad Williams, who also has dwarfism, has raised over $200,000, far surpassing its $10,000 goal.
I just heard from a very important person who is going to help me make sure the money is spent correctly. They have a lot of experience. I want to make all who donated proud. Thank you again everyone. This has been an amazing day! #EndBullying
— Brad Williams (@funnybrad) February 21, 2020
Quaden has also received messages of support from Australia’s National Rugby League, and the Indigenous All Stars, who invited him to go out on the field with them on Saturday.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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